GOD cursed the Satanists out of Jerusalem for life. Jesus focused on Jerusalem because it was the most unholy, evil, place on earth... still is today.

The nomadic Turks (Jews) have been behind all the Evil in the world since Cain's children... using their News networks to create the news, and set the stage, to blame their opponents, for everything evil they do, across the globe.



Jewish Communist Dictum:- "Accuse the enemy of those crimes you are guilty of"

1.PROBLEM 2.REACTION 3.SOLUTION.

The Elite Jews create the illness, then sell the Cure. They create Chaos & Terrorism, then sell the solution... for more control and power.

Islam and Christianity have become servants of the Jews. Acting as physical and spiritual cattle for the Jews to harvest in building their Global Satanic Kingdom.

If I converted to Buddhism, does that make me Chinese? If I converted to Hinduism, does that make me Indian? When Khazarians (Turks) converted to Judaism in 740 BC and stole the true Semite Israelite Aegean identity, did that make the counterfeit Jews Hebrew? Well, the Jew World Order seems to think so. They crucified Jesus Christ for exposing them.

The invention of the Muslim Terrorist by our Jewish Governments... to keep us in fear, and to justify raping the World, and slaughtering billions of innocent families in every country for power and control...for their 2 horned God Lucifer... which the Jews named him "Morning Star."

Every Religion Church and Mosque has been infiltrated by the Jews. How do you know? ... if your Church has not discussed the below phrases by Christ... then it has been compromised.

ZFA statement on Malka Leifer extradition

Zionist Federation of Australia Jeremy Leibler welcomed the footage of Malka Leifer boarding the plane.

“This protracted saga to have Leifer extradited to return to Melbourne to face trial has, it seems, finally ended after over 60 hearings”, he said.

“For too many survivors of child sex abuse, justice is denied. But now, 12 long years after she fled Australia, Leifer is on her way back to face her accusers in court,” said Mr Leibler. “That Leifer was allowed to escape justice for so long was a travesty”, he continued. “While it’s a relief that Israel’s justice system has finally prevailed, the time and process that resulted in these delays are completely unacceptable.”

“That she is coming is largely due to the tireless efforts of Dassi Erlich and her sisters, as well as their support network”, he continued. “It is they who kept up the pressure and who never gave up. My thoughts are with them tonight, and with all survivors of sexual abuse.”

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Bank of Israel criticizes Netanyahu’s proposed cash handouts to Israelis

The Bank of Israel on Monday criticized an economic stimulus plan presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a day earlier, which would include cash handouts to most citizens.

“A universal and indiscriminate distribution [of resources] — such as a grant per child, regardless of income — is ineffective,” it said in a statement.

The Bank of Israel urged the government to revise its policy, directing the funds to “growth-accelerating measures whose contribution to economic recovery will be greatest,” ahead of the easing of the nationwide lockdown from next week.

It also said it was waiting for the government to provide additional information about the plan before releasing its full report.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris following their inauguration, January 20, 2021 (video screenshot)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has objected to the proposal, saying it is illegal to launch such a plan during an election campaign.

Netanyahu announced the plan alongside Finance Ministry Israel Katz on Sunday, even though it was not coordinated with Katz’s ministry or the Justice Ministry. Katz is a close Likud party ally of the premier, and has repeatedly clashed with Treasury officials.

The prime minister said the plan — which analysts say has virtually no chance of being approved — aims to aid small and medium businesses and jobseekers weather the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are bringing a nine-step plan to jumpstart our economy, big time,” Netanyahu said at a press conference, adding that he expects the cabinet and the Knesset to support it.

The main plank in the plan was a proposed stipend of NIS 750 ($230) for all Israeli adults, NIS 500 ($153) for every child, up to four children per family, and NIS 300 for every child beyond the fourth. Members of wealthier households would not be eligible for the stipends.

The government approved similar handouts for the majority of Israelis last year.

Israelis take out money from ATMs in Jerusalem on February 22, 2018. (Dario Sanchez/Flash90)

Other proposals included incentivizing businesses to bring back long-term furloughed workers; providing financial aid to firms whose income has been hit by pandemic; a stipend for the disabled; delaying loan repayments; and providing unemployment benefits to all self-employed workers, among other measures.

Netanyahu lashed out at Mandelblit during the press conference, after the attorney general sent Katz a letter last week expressing opposition to major spending plans amid elections.

“Is this election economics?” Netanyahu asked. “This is election economics because it will help Israeli citizens? Maybe the attorney general will tell me how many vaccines to bring. It is inconceivable to harm citizens’ health because of elections and not to provide for them because of elections.”

The announcement of the plan came despite the government not passing a budget for 2020 or 2021, with Netanyahu widely believed to have thwarted it on purpose to prevent the implementation of a power-sharing deal that would have seen Defense Ministry Benny Gantz succeed him as prime minister.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz speaks at a press conference, December 29, 2020. (Elad Malka/ Blue and White)

Gantz, who heads the Blue and White party, dismissed Netanyahu’s new plan on Sunday as “a manipulative display.”

“The economic plan Israel really needs has a name: a state budget, which Netanyahu and his representatives prevented at all costs,” he wrote on Twitter.

Other opposition party leaders also hit out at Netanyahu, with Yamina chief Naftali Bennett saying the “failing” government “recently prevented all economic activity” and prevented the approval of the state budget.

“Now, before the elections, you suddenly remember?” he said. “The public knows how to recognize fraud and false promises.”

Yisrael Beytenu party chief Avigdor Liberman likened the plan to “bribery.”

“Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren don’t deserve having to deal with the loans that Netanyahu is taking for his election bribery policy,” Liberman tweeted, referring to the ballooning budget deficit.

A number of unnamed Finance Ministry officials were also quoted by Hebrew media slamming the plan.

“It’s all political,” one senior official was quoted as saying by the Ynet news site.

As Netanyahu unveiled the new proposal, his right-wing rival Gideon Sa’ar introduced his own economic plan.

Gideon Sa’ar gives a press conference as he meets with several hospital directors at their protest tent outside the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem demanding more funding, on January 19, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Sa’ar’s New Hope party said its plan was aimed at boosting growth, improving infrastructure, lowering unemployment, assisting the self-employed and improving economic conditions in hardscrabble areas, vowing to release specific details in the coming days.

“New Hope will bring down unemployment, which reached a peak due to the coronavirus, and encourage returning to work with grants and benefits for employers who bring back workers, and also for the workers themselves,” Sa’ar, a former Likud minister, wrote on Twitter.

The rollout of the competing economic plans comes ahead of the March 23 elections, the fourth in two years. Surveys have suggested Netanyahu’s Likud will easily finish as the largest party, but has no clear path to forming a government. However, it is unclear if the premier’s opponents can overcome their differences to put together a majority without him.

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US Supreme Court spurns NY politician Sheldon Silver’s appeal in corruption case

NEW YORK — The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up the case of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence after being convicted in a corruption case.

The high court’s decision not to hear Silver’s appeal is another sharp blow to the Manhattan Democrat, who was once one of the three most powerful state officials.

Silver was ousted as speaker in 2015 and was convicted later that year. His original conviction was overturned on appeal, but he was convicted again in 2018. Part of that conviction was then tossed out on another appeal, leading to yet another sentencing in July.

Silver, 76, began serving his sentence in August.

In the part of the case that survived the appeal process, Silver was convicted in a scheme that involved favors and business traded between two real estate developers and a law firm. Silver supported legislation that benefited the developers. The developers then referred certain tax business to a law firm that paid Silver fees.

Two justices, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, said they would have heard Silver’s case.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that US President Donald Trump was considering clemency for Silver, but ultimately no pardon or sentence reduction was granted.

Silver has been serving time at the federal prison in Otisville, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from New York City.

Before his conviction, Silver was a giant in New York politics.

First elected to the Assembly in 1977, he became speaker in 1994, holding that position for more than two decades. For nearly half that time, during the administration of Republican Gov. George Pataki, he was the most powerful Democrat in the state.

Silver’s lawyers had asked the court to consider allowing him to serve his sentence at home because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and dying in prison. But District Judge Valerie Caproni said issuing a sentence without prison time was inappropriate because Silver was guilty of “corruption, pure and simple.”

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Lapid jets back from US after pre-election parley with Democrat advisers

One of the last people to enter the country before the airport is closed at midnight Monday was opposition leader Yair Lapid.

Lapid, who has been in the US since Thursday for consultations with American political strategists, landed back in Israel before 6 p.m. Monday evening. At midnight, foreign flights will be banned from landing in Israel until the end of the month, in an unprecedented move approved by the government Sunday aimed at stopping passengers infected with COVID-19 from entering the country.

The trip to Washington, DC, was confirmed to The Times of Israel by Lapid’s spokesman.

The timing of the visit to the US was strange not only due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has largely grounded air travel, but also because it comes during what is seen as a critical juncture, just days before a February 4 deadline for parties to register their electoral slates.

The period is usually marked by intense jockeying among parties seeking to form alliances with like-minded politicians. Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party ran in the last three elections under the Blue and White banner with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, is this time around competing in a field crowded with parties seeking to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This has left the political arena ripe for potential mergers, but also made it a minefield of potential rivals, particularly Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party, which is neck and neck with Yesh Atid in polls as the main challenger to Netanyahu’s Likud.

Lapid has been criticized for failing to capitalize on the muddled center-left of the political spectrum, where main rivals Labor and Blue and White have both all but collapsed.

Sa’ar, Lapid and Netanyahu are all running with the help of American political advisers, though Lapid is the only one to have traveled to the US for consultations thus far.

He has a longstanding relationship with Mark Mellman, a US-based pollster who runs Democratic Majority for Israel.

He is also consulting with Florida Representative Ted Deutch, a longtime friend, and other strategic advisers linked to the Democratic party.

Lapid plans on attempting to recreate the Democrats’ success in getting out the vote despite the pandemic, making use of door-to-door campaigning and small outdoor meetings, in person and virtually, in place of large rallies banned by coronavirus restrictions.

Democratic US Senate challenger Jon Ossoff at Dunbar Neighborhood Center during Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, Jan. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Yesh Atid is also looking specifically to Democrats’ success in Georgia’s Senate runoff, where they managed to win by concentrating efforts on potential or likely supporters rather than attempting to win over undecided voters or flip those voting for other parties.

It’s unclear why Lapid needed to fly to the US for the meetings with the advisers, though it is possible he may have been using the trip to fundraise as well. Because his party split with Blue and White following the last election, he will only get about half the publicly financed campaign coffers he would have gotten had the parties remained together.

Lapid’s spokesman refused to comment on whether  he was fundraising on the trip. Health regulations in many US states are laxer than in Israel, which is currently under lockdown, and fundraising is seen as more effective if done face to face.

The spokesman said Lapid had not met with any members of the new US administration, which would have likely been wary of being seen as meddling in Israel’s election.

“Absolutely not,” the spokesman said. “We are not in DC to create a mess.”

While Netanyahu’s official campaign announcements and social media posts have stayed away from mudslinging online, one adviser, Likud spokesman Naor Ihia, attacked Lapid on Twitter over the trip.

“Next time Yair Lapid says that the prime minister is busy with his personal affairs, remind him that during a crisis he flew to the United States only to meet his pollster,” Ihia tweeted.

Others also criticized Lapid for flying while the country was in lockdown, and Lapid himself did not publicize the trip.

Lapid has been fully vaccinated with both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus shot, getting the second one a week before his flight, and it’s unclear if he will need to quarantine upon arrival.

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The dream that became a nightmare: How hopes for Egypt’s Arab Spring uprising were crushed

E

ven the most fervent supporters of the protests called for 25 January did not believe they could amount to much.  

Newspaper editor Lina Attalah chose not to assign a reporter to cover the rallies in Cairo, assuming they would be cleared within minutes.  

Human rights defender Mona Seif, who planned to attend one of the secret marches, voiced her doubts on her blog. Hossam Baghat, the founder of one of Egypt’s leading civil society organisations, laughed off a sudden decision by the authorities to permanently disconnect his mobile number and those of several rights lawyers, hours before it was all due to kick off.

True there had been feverish exchanges of knowledge between protesters in Cairo and Tunisia who had successfully toppled their president just 11 days earlier. They shared leaflets detailing home remedies for tear gas, and strategies such as handing roses to police officers to discourage violence.

However, in Bahgat’s words, it felt funny to announce a revolution via a Facebook invite. It seemed optimistic in a country largely anesthetised by the stifling 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

But on that crisp and cold afternoon 10 years ago today, Egypt snapped.

In Nahiya, west Cairo, where protesters had secretly spread the word about the location of their particular march, Seif described the moment converging rallies outstripped the police until “it felt as if [the security forces] were dissolving”.

Across town at the entrance to the now ionic Tahrir Square, Bahgat saw protesters calling their relatives to communicate the enormity of what was unfolding in front of them.

A few hundred meters away, on Qasr al-Aini street, Attalah was suddenly tackled to the ground and dragged by security forces who were viciously attacking protesters.

“They started stamping my face with their boots, they broke my glasses,” she recalls, reliving the transformative moment.

“But it felt like a metaphorical moment of changing sides.  I felt something big was unfolding and I literally needed to see things differently. And then boom it happened.”  

A protester flashes a victory sign in front of police during clashes in Cairo in January 2011

(REUTERS)

The spark of revolution that first flickered in Tunisia, set Egypt alight and would later spread like wildfire across the Middle East and North Africa, shattering the long-held illusion that the region’s cadre of despots could not be challenged and there could never be change.

If the Arab’s world’s most populous country could overthrow Hosni Mubarak – the emblem of Arab autocracy – there might just be a chance for the other nations.  And so, Yemen’s uprising was already under way before Hosni Mubarak stepped down on 11 February and just days after his ouster protests erupted in Libya, Bahrain and Morocco while a month later the Syrian uprising would gather pace.

For a brief moment it felt like a region of dominos and that a new youth-led order would take hold, challenging the world.

“It seemed like it was a matter of months and then we would be able to win a country that is ours: a place where it is possible to actually plan a future and realise some of our dreams,” Seif says.

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to go back and try to remember 2011 in my current state because I fear I would superimpose the heaviness of now. It was an amazing and empowering year of my life, for my generation.“

Lina Attalah says continuing reporting is a “gesture of hope”

(Roger Anis)

Ten years on, that spark of hope and change has been largely snuffed out. The revolutions in Syria, Yemen and Libya have crumbled into complex civil wars, while Egypt has witnessed some of the most intense levels of oppression in its history.  

The experiences of the activists, journalists and civil society leaders like Seif, Attalah and Bahgat at the heart of revolutions tell the difficult story of the so-called Arab Spring and the decade of shattered dreams that followed.

In Egypt, the hopes of young revolutionaries would be drowned out by a bitter battle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. It culminated in the country’s then army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi seizing power from unpopular Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in a coup. In the years since, hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands imprisoned, including Seif’s own brother Alaa and sister Sanaa, who have been jailed multiple times over the years.

Bahgat is now subject to a five-year travel ban and asset freeze because of his journalism and human rights work.

Attalah’s independent news outlet was banned in Egypt in 2017, and in 2019 she herself was bundled into a police truck after a raid on the paper’s offices.

Bahgat at a court hearing deciding a travel ban and asset freeze in 2016

(MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP via Getty Images)

Egypt vehemently denies there is any crackdown on freedoms, or that there are any political prisoners.

But unsanctioned protests are forbidden, independent media such as Attalah’s website is barred and with many dissidents in exile, jail or dead, the state has started going after other groups that badmouth Egypt or break from assumed “traditional” norms. In recent months that has included TikTok stars and, in the pandemic, doctors.

“Any simple action, even taking on a legal process or voicing some general remark could land you in jail, or a security case, abducted and tortured,” Seif says.

As Bahgat puts it: “I don’t think there is any doubt this is the worst moment of our modern history. We live in an era of darkness.”

The 18 days

By late January 2011, no one would know which way the uprising was going to go.

The sit-in on Tahrir was attacked numerous times, including at one point by armed thugs on camels, and later snipers.

When the internet was shut down and it became clear the members of the military had been involved in the violence, there was a real threat that the state would choose eradication over revolution or reform.

Protesters flee from tear gas fire during clashes in Cairo

(Reuters)

But the fear was drowned out by a kind of fury. And the air crackled with an infectious potential that caught in your throat and sparkled up your scalp.

And so, despite the uncertainty, Seif, Attalah and Bahgat all found their new roles in the “collective painting ” of change, as Seif describes it, against the backdrop of the square that blossomed into its own kind of ecosystem.

The central saniya, or the roundabout, was populated with tents and even a school for the children.  Furious political debates were held at different street corners which Bahgat described as a cocktail reception for Egyptians to meet.  Medics and pharmacists patrolled in their lab coats tending to the injured. Volunteers took turns to clean up or to form concentric circles around the hem of Tahrir to protect it from attacks.

Attalah and her team, decamped to the nearby InterContinental Hotel that had one of the last internet connections left in the city, turning a tiny hotel room into a 24-hour newsroom where they tried to make sense of the history unfolding around them.

Bahgat’s organisation, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), also documented the abuses including when the security forces raided the offices of prominent human rights law firms.  



“I was losing my mind with happiness. It was unreserved elation,

Hossam Bahgat

Seif and her family became the most prominent faces of the uprising and later Egypt’s most well-known human rights defenders. Together with her brother Alaa Abdel-Fatah, who returned from South Africa, Seif used social media to help build a hub of citizen journalists that documented every moment of the uprising.

Her sister Sanaa set up a student newspaper publishing stories from all of Egypt’s revolutionary squares. Her mother Laila Soueif, a professor and her father Ahmed Seif al-Islam, a veteran human rights lawyer, offered support and legal aid for revolutionaries all over the country.

With the world watching it felt like everything was racing toward a spectacular crescendo. And then on 11 February it reached the peak: Mubarak was forced to step down.

“I was losing my mind with happiness. It was unreserved elation,” says Bahgat, who together with Seif and Attalah, was on the square as it burst with joy and uncertainty.

But he says the biggest mistake was made a day later on 12 February.  

“We woke up determined to work very hard knowing that our work was just now beginning. But we thought we were building a new Egypt. We didn’t realise we were still in the old Egypt.”

“The never-ending nightmare”

The police officers only looked bored when the crowd of youth began handing out leaflets calling for sedition to people driving around central Cairo.  

It was 2013, and not uncommon to see activists from the Tamarod – or rebellion –  movement openly collecting signatures for a petition calling on unpopular Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to step down in full view of the usually strict security forces.  

Two years after the revolution, a furious push and pull between the largely secular revolutionaries and oppressive wings of state was quickly made irrelevant by a bigger struggle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamist group and its shadowy leadership had defended Tahrir Square during the 18 days of revolt, but rose to power winning the parliamentary and presidential elections while violently crushing dissident movements along the way.

The team at Mada Masr that have vowed to keep reporting despite the crackdown

(Roger Anis / Lina Attalah)

And so 2013 started with Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, trying to keep his grip on the country that was plagued by protests and problems. By the Spring, Tamarod was openly plotting his downfall in protests called on 30 June.

In press conferences, its leaders  even began urging the military to intervene.

And so Seif, Bahgat and Attalah, who were critical of the Brotherhood, grew increasingly alarmed at the motives behind some of those encouraging revolution 2.0.  

“It felt intuitively wrong,” Attalah says of that period.

“I felt that we were gearing up for a major political transformation that would change our lives… But there  was something not right about relying on the military to fulfil the desire to see the Brotherhood go. “

The atmosphere felt odd. Both state and private media turned on the Brotherhood but also anyone who criticised the military. Eventually, the paper Attalah edited, an English language version of an Arabic daily, was closed down.

She began building Mada Masr, among Egypt’s few truly independent news outlets, which coincidentally launched on 30 June, the day of the mass rallies calling for Morsi to step down.

Bahgat decided to leave EIPR and transitioned into journalism himself, to fight what he called the growing war over narrative and on memory – an action that would see him subject to the watchful eye of the state.

For Seif, 2013 was the beginning of a nightmare which hasn’t ended: the relentless targeting of her family.  

Her brother Alaa, who has been detained under every single modern-day Egyptian leader and president including Morsi, would be caught up in the string of detentions of protesters, who were jailed for demonstrating against a new law which banned non-state sanctioned rallies. This would later swallow up her younger sister Sanaa after she protested against the detention of Alaa,  and the authorities would bar both siblings from being at the bedside of their father, who died in  while they were behind bars.

In July 2013, the army removed  Morsi after issuing him an ultimatum which he famously refused in a defiant speech where he shouted the word “legitimacy” dozens of times.

An anti-government protester waves Egyptian flags during clashes with police in downtown Cairo on 25 January 2011.

(REUTERS)

His supporters built several sit-ins that were finally and violently cleared on 4 August in what some rights groups claim is one of single largest killings of unarmed protesters in modern history.

Between 800 and 1,000 people were killed, and thousands more injured in just a few hours. The Egyptian authorities said the Brotherhood were armed and dangerous and relentlessly fired into the sit-in, before bulldozing the tents to the ground and setting them alight.

As journalists, Attalah said her team tried to make sense of the scope of the catastrophe around them, reporting while people dropped dead in the hours-long hail of gunfire.  

But what made it worse, according to all three, were the people celebrating the violence from the sidelines. Even some pro-democracy revolutionaries who participated in the 25 January uprising supported the brutal way in which the security forces snuffed out the Islamists.

The country’s political life would get uglier. There were mass demonstrations in support of Field Marshal Sisi when he ascended to the presidency in 2014 after elections that international monitors said were not truly free and fair.  

The space to criticise all sides was narrowing and becoming dangerous.

“People weren’t just silent but cheering on the military and going even further waging a war on us, human rights organisations and activists,” Bahgat recalls.  

“That was the saddest and most painful moment, almost as painful as the mass death and misery itself.”

Mona Seif on Tahrir during the uprising 

(Lilian Wagdy/CC BY 2.0)

“It’s a matter of survival”

Handcuffed in a police truck, not knowing if she would be facing five or 15 years in jail, Attalah remembers thinking that day was “an incomplete trip to hell”.

Just a few hours earlier on afternoon in November 2019 the offices of Mada Masr had been raided and a group of them were arrested after being accused of publishing false news.  

The journalists were only released after widespread international uproar but there were no guarantees it wouldn’t happen in the future.  

Over the years as the revolutions in Libya, Syria and Yemen shuddered into war, Egypt’s military-backed government helmed by President Sisi widened its crackdown. It detained anyone for their links to the now banned Muslim Brotherhood, but also journalists unconnected to the group, human rights workers, anti-Brotherhood dissidents who had supported the coup and more recently members of the LGBT community for waving rainbow flags, Tik Tok stars for “indecency” and doctors for voicing their concerns with the country’s response to the pandemic.

But despite criticism of Egypt’s disastrous rights record, President Sisi’s standing internationally has grown as he positioned himself as the necessary bulwark against the rising chaos in the region and groups such as the Islamic State.

He shifted his focus to reimaging Egypt in a slew of controversial and expensive megaprojects, including building a second Suez Canal and a new megapolis capital in the desert that already houses the Middle East’s biggest church.

On a macro level there are some signs of economic improvement: according to Egypt’s main statistics body CAPMAS Egypt’s poverty rate last year decreased for the first time in two decades while unemployment levels are also gradually falling.

But in daily life, the inequalities are still painfully present, and the crackdown escalated.

For Bahgat, Attalah and Seif, oppression is the everyday reality.  

State harassment of Bahgat, who published several investigative pieces about the military, culminated in a travel ban and assets freeze in 2016 on trumped up accusations he had illegally received foreign funding. He returned to directing EIPR in 2020 after three of its staffers, including the executive director were briefly rounded up last year on terrorism charges.

Attalah continues working under the constant fear Mada Masr might be raided again and its journalists jailed but she keeps going as “it is a gesture of hope”.  

For Seif, by the time the coronavirus pandemic arrived at Egypt’s shores, her brother was behind bars again: he was arrested just six months after completing a full five-year sentence. And so, this time his family has the additional worry he might catch a life-threatening virus in a notoriously squalid jail.

After prison visits and communications were stopped amid the lockdown, the family held small protests demanding the right to receive a letter from Alaa about his health. These were met with violence and then Sanaa was re-arrested. The security forces even briefly held Attalah for trying to interview the family about the situation.

Ten years on from the heady days of the revolution, its core demands of bread, freedom and social justice have gone largely unanswered. The dreams of a new revolutionary Egypt have been lost in this nightmarish reality.  

It is telling that state media in Egypt marked the decade anniversary of the uprising with coverage of officials celebrating what 25 January was before 2011: police day.  

While all three believe that change is inevitable as the status quo is untenable right now , as Bahgat puts it, they can’t come up with a new idea to fight back.

And so it is this year, that Seif says she actually feels defeated. She has put her studies on hold because Alaa and Sanaa are behind bars, and instead spends her days shuttling between the two prisons with her mother. For the first time, the family, known as the veterans, even the lodestars, of Egypt’s human rights movement, are considering leaving the country.

“Under Sisi I am incapable of imagining any future, I plan a week ahead or a month at a time, and it is built around the schedule of prison visits and court appearances,” she says, her voice worn to tears at the edges.

“Before it used to feel like a battle for a better future, for realising our dreams, for securing something for our kids. Now it just feels like a battle for survival.” 

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Blue and White defector Ram Shefa joins Labor, will run in primaries

Former Blue and White MK Ram Shefa has joined the Labor party and will run in its primaries on February 1.

“Happy and excited to run for the Labor list and join a political home that feels like home,” tweeted Shefa, who last month was part of an exodus of nine lawmakers from Benny Gantz’s Blue and White coalition party ahead of the general elections.

Shefa is expected to resign as head of the Knesset’s Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, following his announcement.

The Labor primaries will be held just three days before the final deadline to register parties for the March 23 vote. The beleaguered center-left party is widely expected to merge with other parties ahead of the February 4 deadline.

Shefa’s announcement came after MK Merav Michaeli on Sunday won the Labor leadership primary, taking over the party as it faces possible extinction in the elections.

Labor MK Merav Michaeli votes in the party primaries, January 24, 2020 (Courtesy)

Michaeli, who was the only current Labor lawmaker in the race, finished first with 77 percent of the 9,651 votes cast, out of over 37,000 registered party members.

The once-storied Labor has seen its fortunes tumble in recent years, hit by a rightward shift among Israeli voters, turmoil in the party, and the emergence of new political players who have eroded its base. Since joining the coalition after the previous election, the party lost virtually all of its support and no recent opinion poll has predicted it would enter the next Knesset.

The Labor leadership field was cleared for Michaeli after Amir Peretz announced earlier this month that he would step aside as party chief and not run in the upcoming elections. The party’s No. 2, Welfare Minister Itzik Shmuli, later declared he would not be running in the primary and that he had decided to leave Labor altogether.

After Peretz took Labor into the Netanyahu-led unity government, despite having vowed to never serve under a prime minister facing a criminal indictment, Michaeli rejected sitting in the coalition, making her a de facto opposition member within her own party, and within the coalition.

Michaeli has said she is open to joining with another party before the election in order to increase Labor’s chances of passing the electoral threshold, but only if such a party is an “ideological ally.” The Kan public broadcaster reported Sunday morning that if she wins, she is likely to sign an agreement to run with Ron Huldai’s The Israelis.

As the results of the leadership race were announced, Channel 13 news published a poll predicting a Michaeli-led Labor would squeak past the electoral threshold into the Knesset if it ran alone.

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New U.S. Foreign Policy Problems إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة

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إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة

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زياد حافظ

ما زالت الضبابية تسود المشهد السياسي الأميركي بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية الأخيرة المثيرة للجدل وما تلاها من أحداث كاقتحام الكونغرس (او غزوة كما يحلو للبعض!) من قبل أنصار دونالد ترامب والتي كانت ضربة قاسية وربما قاضية لهيبة الولايات المتحدة.  لكان بغض النظر عن ذلك الجدل وما يرافقه من تشكيك بشرعية انتخاب جوزيف بايدن واحتمال نقل السلطة بشكل هادئ وولاية حكم طبيعية فهناك غموض حول توجّهات السياسة الخارجية للإدارة الأميركية الجديدة يعزّزها عدم الاستقرار الداخلي البنيوي الذي ظهر مؤخّرا.  وهذا يجعلنا نقول إن زمام المبادرة لم يعد في يد الولايات المتحدة بل في يد المحور المناهض الذي يضم الكتلة الاوراسية بقيادة روسيا والصين ومحور المقاومة وعدد من دول أميركا اللاتينية.  السؤال لم يعد ماذا ستفعل الولايات المتحدة بل ماذا سيفعل المحور المناهض؟ لكن هذه الحقيقة لم يتم استيعابها بعد حتى الآن عند النخب العربية الحاكمة ومن يدور في فلكها.

مقاربتنا مبنية على واقع برز منذ أكثر من عقدين وهو عدم التوازن بين الرغبات/الأهداف الأميركية في الهيمنة على العالم مهما كلّف الأمر وقدراتها الفعلية لتحقيقها. فالأهداف الأميركية للهيمنة تتطلّب قدرات لم تعد موجودة عند الولايات المتحدة.  بالمقابل أصبح لخصومها قدرات تمكّنها من التصدي لها، فردعها، وربما إخراجها من المناطق التي كانت تسيطر عليها.  لكن بالمقابل هناك حالة إنكار بنيوية في العقل الأميركي فيما يتعلّق بدورها في العالم المبني على وهم استثنائيتها ونظرية قدرها المتجلّي لتقوم بما تقوم به دون مساءلة ومحاسبة.  لسنا هنا في إطار طرح حيثيات ذلك الواقع الذي تم تفصيله في أبحاث عديدة بل نكتفي بالتذكير أن هذا اللاتوازن بين الرغبات والقدرات هو ما نبني عليه في مقاربة التوجّهات الممكنة والمحتملة للإدارة الجديدة إذا ما كتب لها أن تدير الأمور بشكل طبيعي.

الجزء الأول: جوهر الإشكاليات

وإذا افترضنا حدّا أدنى من الواقعية السياسية فإن منهجية الإدارة الجديدة ستكون مبنية على محاولة تحييد العلاقة بين الملفّات الخارجية والداخلية.  فالملفّات الداخلية السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية تدعو إلى انتهاج سياسات اقتصادية تقارب الواقع المترهّل للبنى التحتية والضمان الصحي والبيئي وإعادة تمركز القطاع الصناعي في التكنولوجيات التي لا تستدعي الاتكال على الطاقة البترولية والغازية وذلك على سبيل المثال وليس الحصر والقائمة طويلة ومعقّدة ومليئة بالتناقضات.  فعلى سبيل المثال نرى الرئيس الأميركي المنتخب يدعو إلى أن تتحوّل الولايات المتحدة إلى أكبر دولة في صناعة السيارات الكهربائية.  التداعيات على القطاع النفطي ستكون جذرية فكيف سيتعامل القطاع النفطي الأميركي مع ذك؟  والمكوّن النفطي للدولة العميقة لن يقف مكتوف الأيدي تجاه ذلك التحوّل.  فالقطاع النفطي بنى القطاع الصناعي الذي كان قاعدة القوّة الأميركية.  شطب ذلك القطاع تحوّل جذري لن يمرّ بسهولة.

من جهة أخرى، معظم المكوّنات للدولة العميقة من الناحية الاقتصادية كانت وما زالت تدعو إلى العولمة والهيمنة الاقتصادية المباشرة على العالم وبالتالي استمرار التدخل في شؤون الدول لتحقيق مصالح تلك المكوّنات.  فكيف يمكن فصل الملفّ الاقتصادي الداخلي عن الملفات الساخنة الخارجية؟  وأهم من كل ذلك ماذا ستفعل الإدارة الجديدة إذا كان مشروعها الاقتصادي على تصادم مع مصالح الدولة العميقة التي أوصلت الرئيس بايدن إلى الحكم خاصة أن تحالف تلك القوى لم يمكن مبنيا على رؤية مشتركة بل فقط على ضرورة الإطاحة بدونالد ترامب؟  بالمقابل فإن قوّة الشركات العملاقة التي تحوّلت إلى شركات عابرة للقارات والأمم بنت شبكاتها ومصالحها مستندة إلى القوّة الذاتية الأميركية التي كانت حتى بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية منغلقة على نفسها وتكتفي بالتصدير للعالم.  اليوم هذه الشركات توطنت في الخارج وأصبحت تصدّر إلى الولايات المتحدة.  فإذا فقدت الولايات المتحدة مصادر قوّتها الذاتية عسكريا واقتصاديا وماليا ماذا يمكن أن تفعل الدول المستضيفة للشركات العملاقة الأميركية المتوطنّة في بلادها؟

ما نريد أن نقوله إن هناك ضرورة وجودية للولايات المتحدة للتركيز على ترميم الوضع الداخلي.  لكن ذلك التركيز سيصطدم مع مصالح الدولة العميقة في التمدّد الخارجي فيصبح السؤال كيف يمكن التوازن بين مصلحتين متناقضتين؟  والولايات المتحدة لم تعد لها القدرة على التمدّد والهيمنة فكيف ستعمل مكوّنات الدولة العميقة على سد ذلك العجز؟  قد تأخذ الإجابة على ذلك وقتا طويلا عند النخب الحاكمة والسؤال يصبح هل تمتلك الوقت لذلك؟  فمهما تمّت مقاربة الأمور دخلت الولايات المتحدة مرحلة جديدة في تاريخها قد تفضي إلى إعادة النظر الكلّية بتركيبتها. لكن هذا حديث آخر لا داعي لمقاربته الأن. يكفي أن نخلص إلى نتيجة أن قدرة التأثير في الملفّات الخارجية محدودة وهذا قد يساهم في إعادة التوازنات في العالم على قاعدة أكثر عدلا مما كانت عليه في عهد القطبية الواحدة.

هذه الملاحظات كانت ضرورية لفهم الصعوبات كي لا نقول الاستعصاءات التي ستواجه الإدارة الجديدة.  فكيف ستتعامل مع الملفّات العالقة خارجيا؟   معظم التحليلات والمقاربات تعتمد الكتابات خلال الحملة الانتخابية لرموز الإدارة الجديدة ومنها مقال بايدن في مجلّة “قورين افيرز” في ربيع 2020 ومنها كتابات لكل من وزير الخارجية المسمّى انطوني بلنكن والمستشار الأمن القومي جاك سوليفان.  فماذا يمكن أن نتوقّع من الإدارة الجديدة إذا ما كتب لها أن تمارس مهامها في ظل الانقسامات الداخلية في الولايات المتحدة وحتى داخل الحزب الديمقراطي فيما يتعلّق بالملفّات الخارجية وحتى الداخلية.  قد تطفح التناقضات الداخلية في الحزب الديمقراطي لأن القاعدة الشابة للحزب داخل الكونغرس وخارجه على تناقض كبير مع القيادات التقليدية التي ما زالت في مناخات الحرب الباردة. القاعدة الشابة متماهية أكثر مع حيثيات الداخل الأميركي وحتى الخارج ولا تشاطر هواجس القيادة.  فكيف ستتصرّف هذه القاعدة فيما لو أقدمت القيادة على اتباع سياسات في الملفّات الخارجية والداخلية متناقضة مع تطلّعاتها؟  ولا يجب أن ننسى أن “فوز” بايدن يعود إلى حدّ كبير إلى الإقبال الشبابي على الانتخابات تحت شعار “كلنا ضد ترامب” وبالتالي تجاهل هذه الشريحة الأساسية من قبل القيادة قد تكون مكلفة في الانتخابات النصفية القادمة في 2022 وفي الانتخابات الرئاسية في 2024.  المعركتان بدأتا فعلا منذ الآن!  لكن بغض النظر عن هذه الاعتبارات التي ستظل تلقي بظلالها على مجمل القرارات للإدارة الجديدة كيف ستقارب الإدارة الجديدة الملفات الخارجية؟

بعض الإشارات الواضحة تقودنا للاعتقاد أن الإدارة الجديدة ستكون أكثر ليونة وأكثر دبلوماسية وتتجلّى عبر التوازن في التسميات لمناصب رفيعة في الإدارة الجديدة.  فمن جهة هناك “الصقور” التي يمثلهم في الصف الأوّل كل من انطوني بلينكن للخارجية وجاك سوليفان لمجلس الأمن القومي ومعهما كل من كاثلين هيكس كنائب وزير الدفاع ووندي شرمان كنائب لوزير الخارجية وسوزان رايس كرئيسة لمجلس السياسة الداخلية (البعض يعتبر أنها ستكون رئيسة الظل في الإدارة الجديدة) وفيكتوريا نيولند كوكيلة وزارة الخارجية للشؤون السياسية المنصب الذي شغله جيفري فلتمان سابقا.  نذكّر هنا أن فيكتوريا نيولند زوجة روبرت كاغان المنظر الأساسي للمحافظين الجدد. ونيولند كانت بطلة الانقلاب في أوكرانيا ولها مقولات مأثورة في الاتحاد الأوروبي وصلت إلى حد الشتيمة والتحقير.  أما وندي شرمان، فهي من أنصار مادلين اولبريت التي بررت مقتل 500 ألف طفل عراقي خلال الحصار على العراق.  ولشرمان تصريح شهير أن المخادعة هي في الحمض النووي للإيرانيين.  وكانت تحرص على إبلاغ نتنياهو بكل تفاصيل المفاوضات مع إيران في الملفّ النووي كما أوضحه ضابط الاستخبارات السابق فيليب جيرالدي في مقال له نشر على موقع “انفورميشون كليرينغ هاوس في 12 كانون الثاني/يناير 2021.

 ويعتبر أحد خبراء معهد كاتو تد كاربنتر في مقال نشره على موقع “ناشيونال انترست” الذي يضم دبلوماسيين وعسكريين وضباط استخبارات سابقين وجامعيين أن فريق السياسة الخارجية لإدارة بايدن لا يتمتع بالفكر الإبداعي بل التقليدي حيث لا يتوقع إلاّ الدفع بنفس السياسات المتبعة في إدارة باراك أوباما وحتى ترامب ولكن بأسلوب أكثر لطافة.  فتصريح بلينكن في 25 نوفمبر أن الرئيس المنتخب سيكون رئيس مواجهة مع روسيا كما أنه سيعزّز من قدرات الحلف الأطلسي كمنظومة وكما سيدعم الدول الأوروبية المناهضة لروسيا كأوكرانيا وجورجيا ودول البلطيق وبولندا.  ويضيف كاربنتر أن المشكلة ليست بالتفكير الاعتيادي فيما لو كانت السياسات قبل وصول ترامب جيّدة وصاحبة نتائج بل أنها كانت فاشلة.  والوعد بالعودة إلى تلك السياسات يعني المزيد من الفشل!

 بالمقابل فإن تعيين الجنرال لويد اوستين كوزير للدفاع ووليم برنز الدبلوماسي العريق لإدارة وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية (سي أي أيه) يمثل “لاعتدال” في السياسة الخارجية.  هذا التوازن يعود إلى ضرورة إرضاء مكوّنات التحالف الذي أوصل بايدن إلى الرئاسة من جهة وحرص الإدارة الجديدة على إعادة الاعتبار لصورتها التي تصدّعت عند حلفائها خلال ولاية ترامب.  لكن هذا لا يعني التخلّي عن العقيدة العميقة التي تحكّمت بسلوك الإدارات المتتالية بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية في ضرورة قيادة العالم على قاعدة القراءة التوراتية للإنجيل كما تشير مصطلحات “القدر المتجلّي” و”المدينة على الجبل” و”ارض الميعاد الجديدة” في خطابهم عن الولايات المتحدة.  من هنا نفهم التماهي في الشكل والأسلوب مع نشأة دولة الكيان الصهيوني ونشأة الولايات المتحدة.

هنا لا بد من لفت الانتباه إلى عامل جوهري يساهم في فهم الدافع الأساسي لسلوك سياسات عدوانية في العالم عند مختلف الإدارات الأميركية.  فنظرية “القدر المتجلّي” أتت لتغطي جرائم نشأة الولايات المتحدة في إبادة الشعوب الأولى للقارة من قبل المستعمرين الأوروبيين ومن ثمة استعباد الافارقة لتشغيل مزارع القطن، القاعدة الأولى للقطاع الزراعي في المجتمع الناشئ، وذلك لمصلحة المستعمر الإنكليزي.  الجمهورية التي نشأت كاحتجاج على سياسة التاج البريطاني لم تكن لتستقر لولا التوسع الجغرافي.  وعند الانتهاء من التوسع الجغرافي غربا وعبر المحيط الهادئ إلى جزر هاواي ومن بعدها الفيليبين وبعد فشل المحاولات لإيجاد موطن قدم في شمال إفريقيا عبر حروب شاطئ البرابرة في شمال القارة الإفريقية في بداية القرن التاسع عشر، كان لا بد من التوسع الاقتصادي عبر الهيمنة الاقتصادية، فالاقتصاد وسيلة للهيمنة وليست هدفا قائما بذاته.  السياسة دائما قوّامة على الاقتصاد وإن كان للأخير دور في رسم السياسات.

والتوسع عبر المحيط الهادئ اصطدم بمصالح الإمبراطورية اليابانية فكانت الحرب العالمية الثانية.  والتوسع في أميركا اللاتينية اصطدم بمصالح الاسبان فكانت حروب التحرير من الهيمنة الاسبانية التي دعمتها الولايات المتحدة في مطلع القرن التاسع عشر ومع اسبانيا مباشرة في آخر القرن التاسع عشر وبداية القرن العشرين في كوبا والفيليبين.  فالجمهورية إذن مبنية على قاعدة التوسع ونهاية التوسع بكافة اشاكله يعني نهاية الجمهورية.  من هنا نفهم مغزى “حق التدخلّ لمساعدة المضطهدين” في العالم بينما الهدف الحقيقي هو فرض السيطرة تحت رافعة العولمة وذلك لديمومة الجمهورية.  فالمصالح الاقتصادية لقوى العولمة في الإدارة الديمقراطية الجديدة ستصطدم مع مصالح الذين يريدون الاهتمام بالملفات الداخلية كما سنراه في الملف الصيني والاوروبي والمشرق والوطن العربي.

لذلك نعتقد أن السياسة الخارجية ستحكمها الوقائع الداخلية وأن المبادرة في الملفات الخارجية لم تعد في يد الولايات المتحدة. فالاستراتيجية الأميركية ستصطدم بمواقف المناهضة لها وفتور تأييد الدول الحليفة لها لأن إملاءات الولايات المتحدة لم تعد تصب في مصلحة مشتركة عند مكوّنات السلطة أي الدولة العميقة والتحالفات التي نُسجت للإطاحة بدونالد ترامب.  هذا هو ارث ولاية ترامب وليس هناك من دليل عن تراجع في الأهداف بل فقط في الأسلوب والعودة إلى اتفاقات خرجت منها الولايات المتحدة والتي لن تكلّفها أي شيء إضافي.  ولكن هذا الرجوع إلى الاتفاقية لن يغير في اهتزاز الصورة عند الحلفاء كما عند الخصوم حيث المصداقية فقدت.  فأي ضمان أن إي إدارة مستقبلية ستلتزم بما تتعهد به الإدارة الجديدة في البيت الأبيض.  لن تقبل الدول أن تكون رهينة مزاج متغيّر بين إدارة وإدارة وبالتالي المصالح للدول الحليفة ستعود لتتحكّم بأولويات سياساتها الخارجية.

هذه حدود الإدارة والتي لا نتوقع أي تعديل عن السياسات السابقة سواء فقط في الأسلوب واللهجة.  فهي غير قادرة على التغيير وغير قادرة على الاستمرار.  هذا هو مأزقها وليس مسؤولة دول العالم حل المأزق الأميركي.  التحوّلات في الميدان ستفرز الوقائع التي ستحكم السياسة الأميركية التي تصبح يوما بعض يوم غير ذي جدوى.  فلا قدرة لها على شن حروب جديدة وإن كانت رغبتها في ذلك مؤكّدة ولا قدرة لها على تقديم تنازلات لعقد تسويات.  فانفراط الإمبراطورية الأميركية قد تتلازم مع انحلال الجمهورية.  في أحسن الأحوال ما ستقوم به الإدارة الجديدة هو ربط نزاع دون حلول ودون حروب.  في أسواء الأحوال بالنسبة لها مسألة وجودها ككيان لدولة عظمى.  الخطورة تكمن فقط في استمرار حالة الإنكار وارتكاب بالتالي حماقات تسّرع في زوالها وما سيرافق ذلك من خسائر في الأرواح.

*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

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Ziad Hafez

The U.S. political landscape continues to be blurred after the recent controversial presidential election and subsequent events such as the storming of Congress (or an invasion as some would like!) by Donald Trump’s supporters, which was a severe and perhaps fatal blow to the prestige of the United States.  Regardless of that controversy and the accompanying questioning of the legitimacy of Joseph Biden’s election and the prospect of a quiet transfer of power and a normal mandate, there is uncertainty about the foreign policy directions of the new U.S. administration, reinforced by the recent structural internal instability.  This makes us say that the initiative is no longer in the hands of the United States, but in the hands of the counter-axis, which includes the Eurasian bloc led by Russia and China, the axis of resistance and a number of Latin American countries.  The question is no longer what will the United States do, but what will the anti-axis do? But this fact has not yet been absorbed by the ruling Arab elites and those in their orbit.

Our approach is based on a reality that has emerged for more than two decades: the imbalance between American desires/goals to dominate the world at all costs and its actual capabilities to achieve it. U.S. hegemonic goals require capabilities that no longer exist in the United States.  On the other hand, its opponents have the capabilities to confront them, deter them, and possibly remove them from the areas they controlled.  On the other hand, there is a structural denial of the American mind regarding its role in the world based on its exceptional illusion and the theory of its manifest value to do what it does without accountability.  We are not here to put forward the merits of that reality, which has been detailed in many researches, but merely to recall that this imbalance between desires and capacities is what we are building on in approaching the possible and potential directions of the new administration if it is to manage things normally.

Part 1: The Essence of The Problems

Assuming a minimum of political realism, the methodology of the new administration would be based on an attempt to neutralise the relationship between external and internal files.  The internal political, economic and social files call for economic policies that converge with the lax reality of infrastructure, health and environmental security and the repositioning of the industrial sector in technologies that do not require dependence on oil and gas energy, for example, but not limited to the long, complex and contradictory list.  For example, we see the President-elect calling for the United States to become the largest country in the electric car industry.  The implications for the oil sector will be radical.  The oil component of the deep state will not stand idly by in the face of that transformation.  The oil sector built the industrial sector, which was the base of U.S. power.  Writing off that radical lying sector won’t go through easily.

On the other hand, most of the components of the deep state economically have been and continue to call for globalization and direct economic domination of the world and thus continued interference in the affairs of states in the interests of those components.  How can the internal economic file be separated from external hot files?  Most importantly, what would the new administration do if its economic project were to collide with the deep state interests that brought President Biden to power, especially since their alliance could not be based on a shared vision but only on the need to overthrow Donald Trump?  On the other hand, the power of giant corporations that have turned into transcontinental corporations and nations built their networks and interests based on American self-power, which, even after World War II, was closed to itself and merely exported to the world.  Today these companies have settled abroad and are being exported to the United States.  If the United States loses its own sources of power militarily, economically and financially, what can the host countries do to american giants endemic at home?

What we want to say is that there is an existential need for the United States to focus on restoring the internal situation.  But that focus will clash with the deep interests of the state in the external expansion, so the question becomes how can we balance two contradictory interests?  The United States no longer has the capacity to expand and dominate, so how will the deep components of the state fill that deficit?  The answer to that may take a long time when the ruling elites and the question becomes do you have time for it?  No matter how approached, the United States has entered a new phase in its history that could lead to a total reconsideration of its composition. But this is another conversation that doesn’t need to be approached right now. It is enough to conclude that the ability to influence external files is limited and this may contribute to the rebalancing of the world on a more just base than it was in the arctic era.

These observations were necessary to understand the difficulties so as not to say the difficulties that the new administration will face.  How will you deal with externally pending files?   Most analyses and approaches are based on the writings of new administration figures during the campaign, including Biden’s spring 2020 article in The Foreign Affairs, including those of Secretary of State Anthony Plankin and National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan.  What can we expect from the new administration if it is to exercise its functions in the light of internal divisions in the United States and even within the Democratic Party with regard to external and even internal files.  Internal contradictions in the Democratic Party may be overcome because the party’s young base inside and outside Congress is in great contrast to the traditional leaders that remain in cold war climates.

The young base is more closely identified with the US internally and abroad and does not share the leadership’s concerns. How would this rule behave if the leadership proceeded to pursue policies in the external and internal files that contradict its aspirations? We must not forget that Biden’s “victory” is largely due to the youth turnout for the elections under the slogan “We are all against Trump” and thus ignoring this basic segment by the leadership may be costly in the upcoming midterm elections in 2022 and in the presidential elections in 2024. The two battles began. Already since now! But regardless of these considerations that will continue to cast a shadow over the overall decisions of the new administration, how will the new administration approach the external files?

Some clear indications lead us to believe that the new administration will be softer and more diplomatic, and are evident in the balance in designations for senior positions in the new administration. On the one hand there are the “hawks” represented in the front row by Anthony Blinken for Foreign Affairs and Jack Sullivan for the National Security Council, along with Kathleen Hicks as Deputy Secretary of Defense, Wendy Sherman as Deputy Secretary of State, and Susan Rice as Chair of the Domestic Policy Council (some consider that she will be the shadow chair in the new administration. And Victoria Newland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, a position previously held by Jeffrey Feltman. We Note here that Victoria Newland, wife of Robert Kagan, is the main theoretician of the neoconservatives. Newland was the hero of the Ukrainian coup and had proverbs in the European Union that amounted to insults and contempt. As for Wendy Sharman, she is a supporter of Madeleine Albright, who justified the killing of 500,000 Iraqi children during the siege on Iraq. Sherman famously declared that deception is in the DNA of Iranians. She was keen to inform Netanyahu of all the details of the negotiations with Iran on the nuclear file, as explained by former intelligence officer Philip Giraldi in an article published on the “Information Clearing House” website on January 12, 2021.

And one of the experts of the Cato Institute, Ted Carpenter, in an article he published on the National Interest website, which includes diplomats, military, former intelligence officers and academics, considers that the Biden administration’s foreign policy team does not have the creative thinking but the traditional, as it is expected only to push the same policies followed in the administration of Barack Obama and even Trump. But in a kinder way. Blinken’s statement on November 25 that the president-elect will be the president of a confrontation with Russia will also enhance the capabilities of NATO as a system and will also support European countries that are anti-Russian, such as Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic states, and Poland. The problem, Carpenter adds, is not in the usual thinking about whether the policies before Trump arrived were good and yielding results, but rather that they were a failure. And the promise to return to those policies means more failure!

On the other hand, the appointment of General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defence and William Burns, a veteran diplomat to run the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), represents “moderation” in foreign policy. This balance is due to the need to satisfy the components of the coalition that brought Biden to the presidency on the one hand, and the new administration’s keenness to restore respect for its image, which was cracked by its allies during Trump’s term. However, this does not mean abandoning the profound belief that governed the behavior of successive administrations after World War II regarding the necessity of leading the world on the basis of the biblical reading of the Bible, as the terms “Manifest Destiny”, “City on the Mountain” and “New Promised Land” indicate in their speech on the United States . From here we understand the identification in form and style with the emergence of the Zionist entity and the United States.

Here, attention must be drawn to a key factor that contributes to understanding the fundamental motivation for aggressive policy behaviour in the world in various U.S. administrations.The theory of “manifest destiny” came to cover the crimes of the emergence of the United States in the extermination of the first peoples of the continent by European colonialists, and from there the enslavement of Africans to operate cotton plantations, the first base of the agricultural sector in the emerging society, for the benefit of the English colonial. The republic that arose as a protest against the policy of the British Crown would not have been stabilised without geographical expansion. When geographical expansion was completed westward and across the Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands and then the Philippines, and after attempts to find a foothold in North Africa through the barbarian beach wars in the north of the African continent at the beginning of the 19th century, economic expansion was necessary through economic domination, the economy being a means of domination and not a self-contained goal.  Politics is always based on the economy, although the latter has a role to play in policy-making.

The expansion across the Pacific collided with the interests of the Japanese Empire and was the Second World War.  The expansion of Latin America ran into the interests of the Spaniards, and the wars of liberation were spanish domination, supported by the United States at the beginning of the 19th century and directly with Spain at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries in Cuba and the Philippines.  The Republic is therefore based on the basis of expansion and the end of expansion in all its forms means the end of the Republic.  Hence, we understand the meaning of the “right to intervene to help the oppressed” in the world when the real goal is to impose control under the lever of globalization in order to perpetuate the Republic.  The economic interests of the forces of globalization in the new democratic administration will collide with the interests of those who want to take care of the internal files, as we will see in the Chinese, European, Levant and Arab world.

Therefore, we believe that foreign policy will be governed by by domestic realities and that the initiative in foreign files is no longer in the hands of the United States. U.S. strategy will clash with anti-government positions and the lack of support from allied nations because U.S. dictates no longer serve a common interest in the components of power, namely the deep state and the alliances that have been spun to topple Donald Trump. This is the legacy of Trump’s term and there is no evidence of a decline in targets, but only in style and a return to agreements that the United States has come up with that will cost them nothing more.  But this reference to the Convention will not change the image shake of allies as when opponents where credibility has been lost.  Any guarantee that any future administration will abide by the commitments of the new administration in the White House.  States will not accept to be held hostage to a changing mood between management and administration and therefore the interests of allied states will return to control their foreign policy priorities.

These are the limits of the administration, and we do not expect any modification from the previous policies, either in style or tone. unable to change and unable to continue. This is its dilemma, and the countries of the world are not responsible for solving the American impasse. The transformations on the ground will produce the facts that will govern U.S. politics that will once become some useless day.  It has no capacity to wage new wars, although its willingness to do so is certain and it cannot make concessions for settlements. The break-up of the American empire may coincide with the dissolution of the republic. At best, what the new administration will do is connect a conflict without solutions and without wars. In the worst case for it, the issue of its existence as a superpower.

The break-up of the American empire may go hand in hand with the dissolution of the Republic.  At best, what the new administration will do is to link a conflict without solutions and without wars.  At worst for her, the question of her existence as an entity of a super-Power.  The danger lies solely in the continuation of the state of denial and therefore the commission of follies that accelerate its demise and the attendant loss of life.

*Researcher, political economist and former Secretary General of the Arab National Congress

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Hank Kunneman Says God Hates Those Who Call Him a False Prophet for Falsely Prophesying Trump’s Reelection

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US Backs Al-Qaeda In Yemen

Above photo: Militants from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has been supported by the US and Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

While dubbing its Houthi enemies ‘terrorists’.

The US State Department designated Yemen’s Houthi movement — the most effective force in fighting al-Qaeda — as a “terrorist” organization. Meanwhile Washington and Saudi Arabia have supported al-Qaeda.

The United States government has designated the main enemy of al-Qaeda in Yemen, the Houthi movement, as a terrorist organization, after spending years backing al-Qaeda in the country.

Like the US-led wars on Syria, Libya, former Yugoslavia, and 1980s Afghanistan, Yemen represents an example of an armed conflict where Washington has supported al-Qaeda and similar Salafi-jihadist extremists in order to foment regime change and extend its hegemony.

Since March 2015, the United States has helped oversee a catastrophic war on Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, aiding Saudi Arabia as it launched tens of thousands of air strikes on its southern neighbor, bombing the impoverished nation into rubble — and unleashing the largest humanitarian crisis on Earth.

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have died in this US-backed war. Tens of millions of civilians have been pushed to the brink of famine, as a result of intentional US-backed Saudi targeting of food production. Yemen’s health infrastructure was ravaged by the Western-sponsored bombing, precipitating the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history.

Throughout the war, al-Qaeda and other Salafi-jihadist groups have metastasized across the south of Yemen. The spread of these dangerous extremists is not a mere coincidence; it is the result of US government policy choices.

For years, forces in Yemen backed by the United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have fought in alliance with al-Qaeda. (And it is not the only ongoing conflict in the Middle East where the terror group has been allied with Washington. Former top Hillary Clinton advisor Jake Sullivan, now Joe Biden’s national security advisor, chirped in a 2012 email, “AQ is on our side in Syria.”)

There is overwhelming evidence exposing this de facto alliance between Washington and al-Qaeda. It has been documented even by mainstream corporate media outlets, from the Associated Press to the Wall Street Journal.

Western governments and Gulf monarchies are allied with al-Qaeda in Yemen because they share a common enemy: the Houthis, an indigenous, politically orientated Shia movement that emerged out of local struggles to resist Saudi Arabia’s extremist Wahhabi influence in the northern border area of Yemen.

The Houthis, who officially call themselves Ansar Allah, govern the northern regions of Yemen, where the majority of the population lives. They took control of the country after overthrowing an unelected and deeply corrupt US-backed authoritarian regime on September 21, 2014, in what they dubbed the September 21 Revolution.

Since March 2015, the United States and its allies Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have proven unable to dislodge Ansar Allah from power. In desperation, the coalition has collectively punished the entire Yemeni civilian population, destroying much of the country around them in the process.

On January 10, 2021, the US State Department took its hybrid war on Yemeni civilians to the next level by officially designating the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization.

The terror label constituted a major blow to the international aid organizations working to prevent a famine and save civilian lives in Yemen. Because the Houthis run the government in most of Yemen, the designation effectively criminalized aid work in the majority of the country not under Washington’s de facto control.

The southern part of Yemen not governed by Ansar Allah is run by a US puppet government, ostensibly led by unelected President Abed Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who has spent nearly the entire war living in Saudi Arabia.

Yemen’s US- and Saudi-backed southern government is closely linked to al-Qaeda. And with the full knowledge of officials in Washington, it has used al-Qaeda as the tip of the spear in its war on the Houthis.

US- and Saudi-backed coalition forces in Yemen have actively recruited al-Qaeda extremists in their fight against Ansar Allah, and the US military halted drone strikes on the Salafi-jihadists.

Yemeni al-Qaeda extremists who are individually named on the US terrorism list have been supported and funded by US-backed Gulf monarchies, and have carved out top positions in Yemen’s southern puppet government.

The Salafi-jihadist militants in Yemen are part of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, one of the terror group’s most extreme and brutal international affiliates, which used an ISIS-style flag for years before the self-declared Islamic State emerged out of the US-backed wars on Iraq and Syria.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed the terrorist designation was part of Washington’s drive to weaken Iranian influence in the region, as part of the US-led propaganda drive to paint the group as a mere “Iranian proxy.”

But though the Houthis have received political and media support from Iran, they are an independent indigenous group whose resistance struggle is deeply ingrained in Yemen’s history.

Like the Lebanese nationalist group Hezbollah, which is often compared to Ansar Allah, the Houthis are allies of Iran, but they are independent. Both grew out of indigenous struggles against attempted foreign domination of their countries – the Israeli war on Lebanon in the case of the former, and Saudi aggression in the case of the latter.

Ansar Allah, which adopted the slogan “Death to America, Death to Israel,” has also demonstrated a consistent anti-imperialist ideology and support for global resistance movements.

The Houthi government refuses to recognize Israel and vociferously promotes the Palestinian liberation struggle. It has also backed the Syrian government and its allies against Western-sponsored Salafi-jihadist militants.

Consistent with their ideology, the Houthis publicly expressed solidarity with Venezuela against the US-led coup attempt to install Juan Guaidó in 2019. Back in 2015, a senior Ansar Allah leader told journalist Safa al-Ahmad, “We will help oppressed people all over the world… We support Chávez in Venezuela. Why this insistence that we receive support from Iran, other than wanting to turn the struggle in this country and the region into a sectarian one, based on the American and Zionist agenda?”

The US terrorist designation is clearly meant to criminalize the Houthi movement, and the majority of Yemen as a whole, for its resistance to Washington’s geopolitical interests.

This labeling is ironic, because Yemenis have themselves held numerous protests under the banner, “No to American Terrorism on Yemen.”

During a protest marking the anniversary of the US-Saudi coalition bombing of a funeral hall that killed more than 140 people and wounded 600 more, Yemenis erected a blood-stained, demonic Statue of Liberty holding American and Israeli bombs, alongside a sign reading, “USA Kills Yemeni People.”

In a viral photo, a Yemeni man dressed up as Donald Trump, posing with an American flag cape and hat reading “oil” in front of a cow covered by a Saudi flag, standing above an Israeli flag.

A Yemeni man at a “Stop U.S. Terrorism on Yemen” protest in Sanaa in 2017.

The US terrorist designation of Ansar Allah recalls similar labels applied to other national-liberation movements in the Global South.

South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was on the US government’s terrorism list until 2008 (after the CIA helped the apartheid regime imprison him for 27 years).

Mandela’s African National Congress, or ANC, was designated a terrorist organization by Washington because of its support for armed struggle against South Africa’s US-backed apartheid regime. The ANC remained on the US terrorist list even after it became the elected government of the country’s post-apartheid democracy.

Further compounding the hypocrisy, Washington announced its terrorist designation against the Houthis just weeks after removing the Uighur extremist militia the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) from the US terrorist list. This Salafi-jihadist group, which is also known as the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), has launched hundreds of terror attacks against the Chinese government and civilians, and seeks to carve off the western Chinese region of Xinjiang and establish an Islamic state called East Turkestan.

TIP is closely linked to al-Qaeda and is active in the war in Syria, in the al-Qaeda-controlled Idlib province, where the US has greenlighted missiles shipments. TIP is still recognized by the United Nations, European Nation, and many other countries as a terrorist organization, despite Washington’s de-listing.

But the US government’s terrorist labeling of the Houthis is doubly hypocritical, considering Washington enjoys a very cozy relationship with al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Mainstream corporate media extensively documents US alliance with al-Qaeda in Yemen

The existence of a de facto alliance between the United States, Saudi Arabia, and al-Qaeda is not just speculation by anti-war journalists; it has been acknowledged by mainstream corporate media outlets.

The Western and Gulf monarchy alliance with the notorious Salafi-jihadist terrorist group has been known since the very beginning of the international war on Yemen in 2015.

In July 2015, the Wall Street Journal published a report acknowledging that “Local militias backed by Saudi Arabia, special forces from the United Arab Emirates and al Qaeda militants all fought on the same side this week to wrest back control over most of Yemen’s second city, Aden, from pro-Iranian Houthi rebels.”

The Journal continued: “Saudi-backed militias are spearheading efforts to roll back Houthi gains and reinstate the government that the rebels drove into exile in neighboring Saudi Arabia. But they have turned to Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, for help, according to local residents and a senior Western diplomat. This puts the U.S.-allied Gulf kingdom on the same side as one of the world’s most notorious extremist groups.”

After al-Qaeda helped US-backed Yemeni forces expel the Houthis from the major southern city of Aden, “AQAP militants celebrated the victory alongside the militias, parading cadavers of Houthis on a main commercial street in the city to a cheering crowd,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.

Aden residents told the newspaper that they saw al-Qaeda flags flying all across the city.

The US government was well aware of the fact that it was strengthening al-Qaeda in Yemen. However, it continued to place the responsibility on Yemen’s Ansar Allah movement. The Journal reported, “American officials acknowledge that AQAP is one of the war’s biggest benefactors, but say Houthi rebels are ultimately to blame.”

In February 2016, video evidence of the dark alliance emerged for the first time. Journalist Safa al-Ahmad filmed forces from the US-, Saudi-, and UAE-backed coalition fighting alongside al-Qaeda against the Houthis, battling for control of the major city of Taiz. She published the footage with the BBC.

In January 2017, a United Nations panel of experts published an annual report on the Yemen war. The document (PDF) acknowledged that al-Qaeda “members have also taken part in the fight in Ta’izz on the side of the ‘resistance’ against Houthi and Saleh forces” (referring to previous President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had formed an uneasy alliance with the Houthis until he turned on them and was killed in 2017).

A few sentences before in the same report, the UN experts added, “The Panel also assesses that AQAP is actively working towards preparing terrorist attacks to be launched against the West using Yemen as a base.” The statement represented a clear warning about the same kind of potential “blowback” attacks that American and European civilians have endured thanks to their governments’ sponsorship of Salafi-jihadist fanatics.

Washington’s support for al-Qaeda in Yemen under President Barack Obama was quietly acknowledged, but mostly ignored. When President Donald Trump came into office, however, corporate media outlets that had long whitewashed and ignored the Yemen war began to report more critically.

The Associated Press published a detailed investigation in August 2018 further documenting how US- and Saudi-backed coalition forces in Yemen “cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash… Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.”

“Coalition-backed militias actively recruit al-Qaida militants, or those who were recently members, because they’re considered exceptional fighters,” the AP wrote.

The news outlet noted that some Yemeni al-Qaeda extremists on the US terrorism list were simultaneously being funded by Gulf monarchies to lead troops in the US-backed coalition.

“Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes,” the report added.

“The larger mission is to win the civil war against the Houthis, Iranian-backed Shiite rebels. And in that fight, al-Qaida militants are effectively on the same side as the Saudi-led coalition — and, by extension, the United States,” the AP report stated bluntly.

The news outlet quoted a fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a Cold War-era neoconservative think tank close to the CIA, who admitted, “Elements of the U.S. military are clearly aware that much of what the U.S. is doing in Yemen is aiding AQAP and there is much angst about that… However, supporting the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against what the U.S. views as Iranian expansionism takes priority over battling AQAP and even stabilizing Yemen.”

The damning AP investigation was followed by a 2019 CNN report which acknowledged that weapons sold by the United States to Saudi Arabia and the UAE were then transferred to al-Qaeda in Yemen.

In branding the Houthi movement as terrorists, the United States has not only evinced a staggering level of hypocrisy; it has effectively given a gift to the same extremist organization it used to justify its so-called “war on terror.”

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Why Anti-Racism Must Be Anti-Capitalist

There have been many attempts to put a ‘humane’ face on capitalism, but it is a system built on oppression.

Racism isn’t a glitch, it’s a feature – both of capitalism’s history and its present.

Last summer we saw one of the largest anti-racist mobilisations in decades. In over sixty countries, protesters took to the streets in their thousands to demand transformative, lasting change.

The Black Lives Matter movement calls for a fundamental shift in how our societies are organised: defunding police forces, ending the prison-industrial complex, opposing imperialist projects abroad, and destroying neo-colonial power relations between the Global North and the Global South. Racism and its brutal history are being discussed in a way that is unparalleled in my lifetime.

As happens with every radical movement, the political establishment responded with both condemnation and co-option. Some, like our government, have been eager to dismiss this historic mobilisation and suppress its demands. Other elements of the ruling class opted to misrepresent and appropriate those demands.

In Britain, where Black Lives Matter protests took place in over 150 locations across the country, Boris Johnson claimed that ending the glorification of colonialists and slave traders constituted ‘lying about our history’ — as if racist mass murder, dispossession, and exploitation were fitting subjects to be glorified.

The liberal centre has not fared much better. Brands that were quick to post Instagram stories insisting that ‘Black Lives Matter’ have since seen allegations of selling clothes made by Asian women exploited in UK sweatshops. Their shallow attempts to co-opt the movement with promises of ‘awareness raising’, ‘unconscious bias training’, and ‘diversity hires’ fell flat.

The people who took to the streets know that tweaking the system isn’t enough. The truth is, George Floyd’s brutal murder and racist policing is the sharp end of endemic racism that exists within both the USA and the UK. This racism isn’t incidental. It’s central to capitalism — both its history and in the present day.

Racism in society isn’t a glitch, it’s a feature. It’s functional to the key driver of our economic system: the accumulation of capital. This, rather than meeting human need, is fundamental to capitalism. And it is why racism is embedded in its social relations.

The wealth that enriched the British Empire and established it as a global superpower meant the murder, destruction, and brutalisation of people across the world. Millions died and civilisations were destroyed. The perpetrators of these crimes had to believe that what they were doing was justified.

This justification was supplied by an ideology that said Britain, Europe and whiteness were superior. This found expression in figures such as white supremacist and colonialist Cecil Rhodes, who in 1877 said that ‘we [white Englishmen] are the first race in the world, and the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human right.’ But it wasn’t only arch-conservatives advocating this ideology — similar sentiments were echoed by the nineteenth-century philosopher and liberal hero John Stuart Mill.

India, Mill said, was made up of ‘barbarous people’, ‘not fit to govern itself’ and so Britain was justified in colonising the subcontinent. He argued this shortly after working for the East India Company, a private company effectively acting as an extension of the British state, responsible for extracting billions of pounds of resources from the country. The propagation of racist ideology was always closely tied to colonial expansion.

This ideology hasn’t disappeared. The racist narrative set by the War on Terror casts Muslims as a security threat, in need of discipline, subordination, or suppression. This Islamophobia was the background to the Western imperial war against Iraq, with false links drawn between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks and trumped-up evidence testifying to Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Not mentioned in pro-war arguments was Iraq’s unwillingness to open its vast oil fields to Western companies, but of course when the US toppled Saddam those oil reserves were privatised and sold off.

But racism doesn’t just serve capital accumulation and dispossession at the empire’s periphery. It is key to shaping conditions here in the metropole as well. Britain has just entered the worst recession on record. We’re set to experience an unprecedented jobs crisis and unemployment levels not seen in decades, and we have the highest coronavirus death rate in Europe.

Responsibility for this lies squarely with the Conservative government, yet for weeks we saw a ‘migrant crisis’ dominate the news. The home secretary even threatened to deploy military vessels in the Channel to deter desperate people in dinghies. Fear of these ‘invaders’ was whipped up by a compliant media even as we learned of the death of Abdulfatah Hamdallah, a refugee from Sudan, making the crossing.

This is no coincidence. The Conservatives and their billionaire press allies stir up hatred and fear in order to divide and rule. They use racism to project structural problems onto minority groups, to distract from social crises by demonising vulnerable people, and to make exploitation easier and more palatable. This isn’t unique to any one form of racism. It’s true of them all.

While “gang violence” is racialised as black and is used to justify increased police powers and brutality against black communities, antisemitism is used to blame structural problems on a persecuted minority. It portrays Jewish people as conspiring behind the scenes, imagining that an ‘alien’ presence is the cause of social ills rather than structures of oppression and domination. This is what is happening when antisemites spread conspiracies about the Rothschilds and George Soros. Far from being radical, this ‘socialism of fools’ is another reactionary ideology that scapegoats a vulnerable minority.

So while different racisms may appear distinct, they serve the same function: portraying the integral problems inherent in the system as separate and isolated from it. This is true whether it is Conservative MPs warning of ‘invading migrants’, Muslim communities being blamed for coronavirus, black youths depicted as criminal gangsters, or the Telegraph printing Soros conspiracies on its frontpage.

And this is why all minorities have a shared interest in defeating racism, whatever form it takes. So long as this kind of reactionary thinking exists, none of us are safe from denigration and attack. It’s also why the most powerful answers to racism are radical.

It’s easy to spout platitudes about being anti-racist, but only a socialist analysis explains a system that breeds racism. This analysis tells us that alienation, exploitation, and falling living standards aren’t the fault of any religious or ethnic group, they are the nature of capitalism itself — which is built upon minority rule by the super-rich.

A socialist analysis doesn’t just get to the root of social ills, it also shows us the route to liberation. It reveals that our struggles are linked. My liberation as a Muslim woman is tied to your liberation as a Jewish person and her liberation as a black woman. We’re brought together through shared oppression, united with the global working class. We each have a stake in fighting for the other.

Our opponents seek to divide us, to make us feel alone and without hope. That’s how they win. In the post-Covid world, they will do this with more venom than ever. But we win when we build bonds of solidarity and when we link our struggles.

There is an old socialist slogan, ‘workers of the world, unite!’ It’s not a relic from history, it’s an injunction for today. It calls us to an internationalist approach to socialism, one which can truly tackle racism at its core. It’s a vision worth fighting for.

Zarah Sultana is the Labour party member of parliament for Coventry South.

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‘No Likud in the Joint List,’ say Arab MKs as talks with renegade member falter

A meeting between the heads of all four Arab parties that make up the Joint List ended without a breakthrough on Sunday night, increasing the likelihood that the alliance will fall apart before the coming election.

The talks — the first four-way meeting between party leaders since new elections were called for March — were hosted by former Hadash MK Mohammad Barakeh, who currently directs the Arab Higher Follow-Up Committee. Barakeh said that the talks dealt with “the relationship between the Arab parties and the government,” without elaborating.

“It was not an easy conversation. There will be further discussion and meetings in the coming days. I hope we can move forward, but it’s too early to say whether it will succeed or not,” Barakeh said in a phone call.

Beyond a shared national identity, the Joint List, an alliance of four Arab-led factions from across the political spectrum, is united mainly by a desire to avoid falling below the Knesset’s 3.25 percent electoral threshold. The parties span the gamut of political opinion, ranging from Hadash’s committed communists to Ra’am’s conservative Islamists.

The bloc has been under strain in recent months, as Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas has publicly expressed a desire to normalize ties with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Abbas has said that in order to advance legislative priorities for the Arab community, he would even consider voting in favor of a law providing Netanyahu with immunity from prosecution in his corruption cases, or serve as a minister in a Likud-led government.

Mansour Abbas of the Ra’am party holds a press conference after a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on April 16, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Abbas has argued that his faction is presenting a new, can-do approach in Arab Israeli politics. But his Joint List colleagues see him as collaborating with a prime minister who they say has long incited against Arab Israelis.

“Joining, aiding or abetting the right-wing government, annexation, or settlements are a red line from our perspective. We won’t allow a branch of the Likud party in the Joint List,” Hadash said in a statement on Monday.

In a statement, a Ra’am spokesperson said that they had demanded that the other parties refrain from voting in ways that “damage the religious and conservative identity of Arab society.” The statement was a thinly veiled jab at Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, who voted along with two of his colleagues in Hadash in favor of a law banning so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBT people.

Ra’am further demanded total freedom in its voting — including the freedom to vote for Netanyahu’s immunity from prosecution. The other three parties had previously stipulated that the faction stick to the Joint List’s decisions.

A second four-way meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday night, Barakeh said.

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Drugmakers to be required to register Covid-19 vaccine exports over supply concerns – EU official

The EU is set to introduce a rule requiring drug manufacturers to register exports of their Covid-19 vaccines to third parties, after AstraZeneca warned supply issues will impact its ability to meet demand.

The new measure, reportedly due to be implemented by the European Commission in the coming days, will create a ‘transparency register’ for pharmaceutical companies who export their drugs outside of the bloc, in an attempt to reduce the risk of supply chain problems impacting the vaccine rollout.

Also on rt.com EU Commission, member states ‘deeply dissatisfied’ with AstraZeneca after revelation of delayed vaccine delivery

Discussing the plan, German Health Minister Jens Spahn argued that the EU “must be able to know whether and what vaccines are being exported.”

An obligation to get approval for vaccine exports on the EU level makes sense.

The EU move follows an announcement from AstraZeneca that the company will reduce deliveries of its Covid-19 vaccine by 60 percent in the first quarter of 2021, significantly lowering the 80 million doses that were expected by the bloc before the end of March. The jab has yet to be approved for use by EU regulators but is expected to be greenlit by the end of this month.

AstraZeneca blamed the reduction on “production problems” at its manufacturing plant in Belgium. In response, the European commissioner for health and safety, Stella Kyriakides, criticized the company on Twitter, explaining that a “precise delivery schedule” was key for member states being able to plan their vaccination programs.

Also on rt.com Australia approves Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine but warns supply issues could impact distribution

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held talks with company officials on Monday in a bid to find a way for AstraZeneca to increase its vaccine production and meet its current delivery goals.

While the EU is implementing the export registrations measure, it is currently unclear whether it will address the AstraZeneca supply issues, or if the bloc will introduce further rules that limit exports to third countries to ensure the rollout across Europe proceeds uninterrupted.

AstraZeneca isn’t the only Covid vaccine maker suffering supply chain issues. Pfizer has warned that it might not be able to meet worldwide demand as it scales up production for the jab it developed jointly with BioNTech. It also noted that in the short term it will only be able to provide information about its global production level “on a weekly basis.”

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Coronavirus Israel live: Tel Aviv airport shut; pandemic czar says third lockdown might no be the last

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Settler attacked by Palestinians while jogging – medics

A resident of the Har Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank who was out jogging was attacked by Palestinians near the village of Burin, medics said Monday.

The man was taken to Meir hospital in Kfar Saba with mild injuries, according to Magen David Adom.

There were no immediate arrests announced following the assault. The Palestinian news site Ma’an reported that Israeli troops had placed roadblocks close to al-Burin and were preventing residents from entering or leaving the village.

Palestinians in Burin were subject to an alleged stone-throwing attack by settlers on Saturday from the nearby outpost of Givat Ronen. In a video widely circulated on social media, so-called hilltop youth can be seen hurling rocks as Israeli soldiers apparently stand by.

A spokesperson for the Israel Police’s West Bank division told The Times of Israel that one Jewish suspect had been arrested in connection with the stone-throwing. The same suspect was later conditionally released.

Esther Horgen, 52, who was found dead in the northern West Bank in a suspected terror attack on December 20, 2020. (Courtesy)

The incidents come a month after Esther Horgen, 52, a mother of six, was murdered after she went for a run in the Reihan forest near her home in the settlement of Tal Menashe. A Palestinian man suspected of the murder has been arrested.

The West Bank has seen a notable increase in ultranationalist violence against Palestinians after 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak was killed in a police chase after allegedly hurling stones at Palestinians in late December.

Sandak, a resident of the Bat Ayin settlement, was fleeing Border Police in a car with four other hilltop youth when his car flipped over, killing him. According to police, Sandak’s group fled from police before losing control of their vehicle. Sandak’s defenders view his death as a police killing; they allege that the police car hit his vehicle from behind, causing it to run off the road.

Sandak’s death ignited weeks of near-nightly protests in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Demonstrators have thrown stones, attacked buses, and blocked major thoroughfares. In turn, police have responded forcefully, including apparently beating a protester in one widely circulated clip.

According to the Yesh Din organization, 44 settler attacks against Palestinians have taken place in recent weeks. A 5-year-old hit in a stone-throwing attack was the second Palestinian child injured last week.

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MLK and Rabbi Heschel fought for civil rights together. Their daughters say the struggle isn’t done

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jew Wants to Integrate Invaders to Make Them “As Swedish as Me”

jews have wormed their way into every White country and are using their influence to open up borders and bring in an invasion of aliens.

WorldTruth link

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Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against UK, South Africa variants

US biotechnology firm Moderna on Monday said lab studies showed its COVID-19 vaccine would remain protective against variants of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

But out of caution, the company will test adding a second booster of its vaccine — to make three shots in total — and has begun preclinical studies on a booster specifically for the South African variant.

“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants,” said Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO.

“Out of an abundance of caution and leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are advancing an emerging variant booster candidate against the variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa into the clinic.”

To study the impact of the existing vaccine, called mRNA-1273, Moderna took blood samples from eight people who had received two doses of the vaccine, and two primates that had also been immunized.

Volunteers are given the Moderna mRNA-1273 Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE), in Detroit, Michigan, on August 5, 2020. (AFP, courtesy of the Henry Ford Health System)

For the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the UK, there was no impact on the level of neutralizing antibodies — which bind to the virus and prevent it from invading human cells — that were produced by the shots.

But for the South African variant, B.1.351, there was a sixfold reduction in the neutralizing antibody level.

Even so, it remained above the quantity that was shown to be protective in earlier tests on primates that were infected on purpose.

The company, which carried out the studies with the National Institutes of Health, has submitted the study to a preprint server so it can be analyzed by the wider scientific community.

Moderna began supplying its vaccines to Israel earlier this month in a boost to the country’s national vaccination drive. The firm says Israel has ordered 6 million doses of the vaccine, enough to inoculate 3 million people.

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Putin denies owning £1bn Black Sea palace after Navalny exposé

Mr Putin said he had “not had the time” to view the much-discussed investigation, released on 19 January shortly after the Putin critic was jailed. Nonetheless, the president asserted extracts he had seen represented an  “attempt to brainwash” Russians using “10-year-old rumours”. 

“They decided it was a good time to put things together and brainwash our citizens,” he said. “This is just a compilation, a cut and paste job.” 

In an altogether complicated repudiation, Mr Putin said neither he nor close relatives had “ever” owned the property. 

That precise formula appeared to sidestep the main claim made by Mr Navalny’s team that oligarchs gifted the palace as way of a bribe, and that state-owned companies financed the construction. 

The opposition leader’s two-hour-long video exposé has already been watched over 85 million times. 

The report’s main claim – a palace built for the president – is not entirely new. But the more lurid details are. They include inventories of hockey palaces, cinemas, swimming pools, saunas, music rooms, casinos, hookah rooms, and wildly expensive toilet brushes. 

The embarrassing revelations appear to have helped boost turnout at pro-Navalny rallies on Saturday. 

Despite warnings of a violent crackdown, between 100,000-300,000 took to the streets calling for Mr Navalny’s release, making the protest the most serious challenge to Mr Putin’s rule for a decade. 

Speaking on Monday, Mr Putin said he respected the rights of people to “express their point of view”. But he said doing so “outside legal frameworks” risked a return to revolution. 

“The people who rocked the Russian empire may also have been guided by good intentions, but what good did that bring,” he said. 

Russian authorities have made it clear they do not intend to create any legal framework for pro-Navalny rallies. 

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Virus czar: With COVID-19 mutations, third lockdown may not be Israel’s last

The government’s coronavirus czar on Monday warned the third nationwide lockdown may not be Israel’s last, citing the fast-spreading mutations of the virus.

The British variant of the virus is circulating widely in Israel, accounting for nearly half of recent cases, according to health officials. Twenty-seven cases of the South African strain have been found in the country, in addition to four cases of a California mutation. Officials fear the variants might prove resistant to the vaccines.

Nachman Ash, in a briefing with reporters, also said the easing of the lockdown restrictions would be slower than anticipated, despite the country’s successful vaccination drive. The lockdown is currently set to expire on Sunday, though the government has yet to lay out a plan to gradually lift restrictions.

“When they asked me two weeks ago if this is the last lockdown, I replied that it nearly certainly is. Today I’m more cautious,” said Ash.

Israel’s coronavirus czar Prof. Nachman Ash visits Ziv hospital in Safed, December 24, 2020 (David Cohen/Flash90)

He said the more infectious British strain, and other strains originating in South Africa and California, “require us to use caution when exiting the lockdown.”

“We will be forced to reopen the economy more slowly than we thought a few weeks ago, and if we are successful, we will prevent the next lockdown,” Ash said.

He said the immense pressure on hospitals, which are struggling with an influx of COVID-19 patients in serious condition, complicates the planned reopening of the economy.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, meanwhile, slammed complacency in Israel regarding the pandemic, contradicting frequent recent remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implying the country is on its way out of the crisis.

“We will have to live in the shadow of the coronavirus for a long time,” he said in the Knesset plenum Monday, during a discussion of fine hikes for lockdown violations.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein receives a coronavirus vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, on December 19, 2020. (Amir Cohen/Pool/AFP)

“I have been taught not to lie, and I don’t want to tell you that in a month everything will be open, because that is not the case,” Edelstein said. “There is an atmosphere of ‘This is it, just one more push and it’s over.’ It must be truthfully said that is not the case.”

Israel will need to be “very careful” in exiting the lockdown, he added

Ash earlier on Monday told Radio 103FM that over the past couple of days information from the UK, where the so-called British variant was first detected, has indicated that the strain causes serious symptoms at a 30 percent higher rate. Ash said officials estimate some 40%-50% of new daily cases are caused by the British variant.

The British government has said there are preliminary indications the strain may cause 30% higher mortality.

On Monday, US biotechnology firm Moderna said lab studies show its COVID-19 vaccine will provide protection against the variants of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

“The study showed no significant impact” on the level of neutralizing antibodies elicited against the UK variant, B.1.1.7.

A medical worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a Clalit vaccination center in Jerusalem, on January 21, 2021. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A sixfold reduction in antibody levels was observed with the B.1.351 variant first seen in South Africa, but the levels are thought to remain above what is required for protection against COVID-19.

Ash said there was also a very high probability that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that Israel is using for its mass immunization drive also works on the British variant, but it is still not clear how effective it is against other variants. Israel is primarily using the Pfizer vaccine, though it also has a contract with Moderna.

In any case, Ash said, the vaccine should be expected to have at least some effectiveness against the mutations, even if it is not as high as its effectiveness against the more common strains.

The comments came as the country prepared to take drastic action to block virus mutations reaching the country from abroad, with the government deciding to shut down all commercial flights in and out of Ben Gurion Airport, Israel’s main international airport, until the end of the month.

International travelers have been identified as a prime source of infections in the country.

Illustrative — A man walks through the almost-empty Ben Gurion International Airport on January 24, 2021 (Flash90)

The closure will start at midnight Monday-Tuesday and remain in effect until Sunday, January 31, when national lockdown measures are currently set to be eased.

Under the current lockdown orders, all nonessential businesses are to be closed, as well as the entire education system, with the exception of special education institutions.

The Health Ministry is reportedly pushing for the lockdown to be extended in a partial format and that only preschools be permitted to reopen at the beginning of next month.

Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health at the Health Ministry, told the Knesset on Monday that the planned week-long closure of Ben Gurion Airport would not be long enough.

“The six days that we have decided to close Ben Gurion Airport for will not be enough. We will have to extend the closure by at least a few weeks to buy time for the vaccination campaign,” Alroy-Preis said.

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis. (Courtesy)

She also said that a higher-than-average share of cases in the ultra-Orthodox community was caused by the highly contagious British strain, and that although the mutation was not generally seen in Arab communities, it was expected to spread there too.

Additionally, the strain was causing concerning levels of infection in children and young people, as well as serious illness in a number of pregnant women.

She said that “40% of illness is in children, a higher percentage than their part in the population… We see a rise in infections in ages 6-9, which is exactly the age group that is supposed to go back to school” when the tightened lockdown ends at the end of the month. “We’re monitoring it.”

Alroy-Preis added that “the vaccine works against the British mutation but the virus infection rate is much faster than the vaccine rate.”

Meanwhile, “we are at a record number of people on ventilators, it’s unprecedented.”

The Health Ministry released figures Monday showing that 4,869 new virus cases were diagnosed the previous day and that the positive test rate had risen to 9.3%, its second-highest level in a month. With 18 deaths overnight, the toll stood at 4,437. Of the 70,859 active cases, 1,180 were in serious condition, with 416 considered critical and 369 on ventilators.

Over 1,000 people have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of January.

An Israeli student receives a COVID-19 vaccine injection, at a vaccination center in Tel Aviv, on January 23, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Edelstein, the health minister, reported Monday that the vaccination program was close to a rate of nearly 200,000 shots every day. Edelstein tweeted figures showing that 193,000 doses were administered on Sunday, a marked increase over the daily average of 170,000 shots for last week.

“Israel is continuing to lead the world with 3.7 million vaccinations (2.590 million got the first dose, and among them more than a million have also received the second dose) and we are opening the week with about 200,000 vaccination a day,” Edelstein tweeted.

“This is the way to beat the virus!” he said.

The government has set a goal of vaccinating the entire adult eligible population over the age of 16 by the end of March.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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Long overdue? New service Counterweight provides counsel to those facing social justice-fueled ‘cancellation’

A well-known British intellectual has launched an organisation whose stated mission is to provide resources and guidance to those facing ‘cancellation’ in the workplace or elsewhere, eliciting cheers as well as groans.

The new group, Counterweight, will help individuals “resist the imposition of Critical Social Justice (CSJ) on their day to day lives.” A video featured on Counterweight’s website describes ‘woke’ activism as a “restrictive ideology” that cares more about a person’s identity than their character or actions. The organization has pledged to provide “mental health support” and other forms of aid to “casualties of the culture wars.” 

Created by writer and self-described “leftist” Helen Pluckrose, the organization bills itself as a non-partisan community that advocates for “liberal concepts of social justice that include individualism, universalism, viewpoint diversity and the free exchange of ideas.”

Also on rt.com ‘Multiracial whiteness’ is the latest attention-seeking attempt by patronising white liberals to explain racism to black people

Pluckrose found herself in the public spotlight after she was revealed as one of the co-conspirators in a headline-grabbing gimmick in which absurd and bogus academic papers were submitted to and published by journals focusing on social justice issues. 

Known as the “grievance studies affair,” the hoax academic papers made Pluckrose a leading commentator on postmodernism and identity politics within academia. 

The new initiative received mixed reviews on social media. Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics affiliated with the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, described Counterweight as an “important” step toward combating cancel culture. 

In contrast, social justice proponents on Twitter lambasted Pluckrose as a “faux-leftie,” describing Counterweight as a “sham” group. 

Several observers struggled to comprehend why Counterweight was even necessary.  

One commenter argued that Counterweight would have little legal recourse, as many businesses and organisations have every right to “put their values into action.” But Pluckrose rejected this criticism, arguing that history has shown again and again that just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right. 

“You’re not going to appeal to anybody genuinely liberal by appealing to what the rules are. Make an argument for why they should be that way,” she wrote.

Although opinions on the issue vary, much of the Western world has seen ‘woke’ philosophy gain a more prominent foothold in workplaces, universities, media outlets, and other institutions. Earlier this month the Washington Post invented a new term, multiracial whiteness, to explain support for Donald Trump among black voters, apparently suggesting that no one who is “really” black would back him. 

Also on rt.com Academics ‘rewrite’ Mein Kampf using radical feminist language, paper accepted

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Moderna working on new Covid-19 vaccine booster to tackle South Africa strain

US biotech firm Moderna said on Monday that it was starting trials for another Covid-19 vaccine to immunize people against a mutant strain of the virus recently discovered in South Africa.

The company also said laboratory tests had shown that two doses of its current Covid-19 shot are effective against the variant, known as 501.V2, as well as the B.1.1.7 strain of the virus found in Britain late last year.

Moderna did stress, however, that the immune response generated by the vaccine appeared to be six times weaker against the South African variant compared to the previous Covid-19 strain, although with antibody levels still above the threshold required for protection.

The findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, are from a Moderna study in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US.

Also on rt.com Poland’s Moderna Covid-19 vaccine supply delayed, government announces

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement that the company is trying to determine if its booster candidate will be more effective in creating blood antibodies against 501.V2 and “potentially future variants.”

The pharma firm’s current Covid-19 vaccine is being rolled out in Europe, the US and elsewhere following its approval by local regulators.

The trials of the company’s new booster are being carried out with the US National Institutes of Health, and will involve several thousand participants given either a second shot of the original vaccine or a booster shot.

Like Pfizer’s Covid-19 jab, Moderna’s uses technology known as RNA – or mRNA – which triggers an immune response by prompting cells to make a piece of spike protein, as opposed to traditional vaccines, which often use a weakened form of a virus.

Also on rt.com ‘Deepest concerns’: South Africa Covid-19 variant binds more easily to human cells, making it more infectious, govt adviser says

The 501.V2 variant was discovered in South Africa last year and is more easily transmissible due to a mutation that allows it to bind more easily to human cells.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that 77 cases of 501.V2 had been detected in the UK, although there was no evidence to suggest community transmission of the variant had taken place.

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North Korea’s Acting Envoy to Kuwait Has Defected to South Korea: Lawmaker

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the 8th Congress of the Workers’ Party in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo supplied by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 13, 2021. Photo: KCNA/via REUTERS/File Photo.

North Korea’s acting ambassador to Kuwait has defected to South Korea, the latest in a recent string of high-profile escapes from the isolated country, a South Korean lawmaker said on Monday.

Ryu Hyun Woo had led North Korea’s embassy in Kuwait since former Ambassador So Chang Sik was expelled after a 2017 UN resolution sought to scale back the country’s overseas diplomatic missions.

Ryu defected to South Korea last September, according to Tae Yong Ho, who was North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain before settling in the South in 2016 and being elected as a lawmaker last year.

Kuwait had been a key source of foreign currency for Pyongyang, which sent thousands of laborers there, mostly for construction projects.

Related coverage

January 25, 2021 10:18 am

Tae said Ryu is also the son-in-law of Jon Il Chun, who once oversaw a Worker’s Party bureau responsible for managing the ruling Kim family’s secret coffers, dubbed Room 39.

The National Intelligence Service declined to comment.

Ryu’s defection could be a sign that the North Korean elite who shore up leader Kim Jong Un’s power base has been drifting away from him slowly but constantly, Tae said.

Ryu fled several months after Jo Song Gil, who was North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy, vanished with his wife from the embassy and resurfaced in South Korea.

Tae told Reuters that the knowledge and experiences of the outside world gained as a diplomat had fostered disillusionment among his family, and he decided to escape to “give freedom” to his children, calling for other officials to follow suit.

“I want to deliver to my colleagues working around the world and North Korean elites that there is an alternative to North Korea, and the door is open,” Tae said in an interview at the recent Reuters Next conference.

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Ivanka Trump stays silent on social media as Rubio warns she’ll have ‘tough’ fight if she goes for his seat

Ivanka Trump is remaining silent as rumours swirl about her own possible run for office. 

The former first daughter, and adviser to Donald Trump during his presidency, last posted a message on Twitter and Instagram on 19 January saying that it had been “the honour of a lifetime to serve our nation”.

Her last public engagement was the former president’s farewell address at Joint Base Andrews before his final flight on Air Force One on 20 January.

At the small rally on the tarmac, Mr Trump thanked his family: “People have no idea how hard this family worked,” said Mr Trump. “They worked and they worked for you. They could’ve had a much easier life.”

Since then, Ms Trump has retreated from public view, but talk of her entering the world of politics with an aim to making the Trumps into a political dynasty is already gaining traction.

In the past Ms Trump has made no secret of her own political ambitions, and her family’s move to a luxury condominium in Miami could be seen as the next logical step.

Over the weekend Republican senator for Florida Marco Rubio shrugged off rumours that Ms Trump could challenge him to a primary in the 2022 midterm elections.

Ms Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who was also an adviser to the 45th president, recently acquired a $30m (£22m) lot of land on Indian Creek Island in Miami. They are planning to build a new home for themselves there, indicating their intention to stay on in the Sunshine State, where Mr Trump himself now resides at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

But speaking to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Mr Rubio brushed aside gossip that Ms Trump is eyeing his seat, suggesting he was more concerned by the prospect of a well-funded Democratic rival.

“I don’t really get into the parlor games of Washington,” he said. 

“If you’re going to run for the Florida Senate, if you’re going to run state-wide in the state of Florida, you’re going to have a tough race and that might include a primary. That’s their right under the system.

“I don’t own the Senate seat,” he continued. “If I want to be back in the US Senate, I have to earn that every six years.”

Pushed on the matter, Mr Rubio responded: “I like Ivanka. We’ve worked very well together on issues … Anybody can decide to run if they want to … I would point to the last four years working with President Trump in the White House and I can tell you it’s probably been the most productive four-year period of any US senator from Florida in modern history.”

In the same interview, Mr Rubio mounted only moderate criticism of Mr Trump over the 6 January assault on the US Capitol by an enraged mob of his supporters who had been led to believe November’s election had been “stolen” from the Republican.

Five people were killed and more than 100 arrested in the ensuing melee that saw rioters break through police barriers, loot offices and vandalise federal property, with some reportedly plotting to kidnap or even murder lawmakers.

Mr Rubio argued that while the former president “bears responsibility” for the episode, he should not face a trial in the Senate – one is scheduled for 8 February – because holding him to account could further “stir up” the country.

Whatever lies ahead for President Trump, his daughter’s return to politics continues to be the subject of speculation.

Politico recently quoted a Trump family insider who said Mr Kushner is currently “working single-mindedly to protect and promote his wife’s ‘political career’”.

“He’s calling people and trying to line them up saying Rubio is terrible, worthless, he’s probably going to lose, Ivanka is going to go there and we should all get together and pledge our support to her and get her to run,” a Republican fundraiser also told the site.

The idea has been further encouraged by Mr Trump’s former campaign manager Jason Miller, noting her frequent appearances at rallies like those in support of beaten Georgia Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue earlier this month. 

“Ivanka only got into politics to help her father and help his agenda but what’s now clear is that Ivanka is a political powerhouse in her own right.” he said.

The president’s ex-chief strategist Steve Bannon has also championed Ms Trump, saying on a recent episode of his War Room podcast: “The second most fire-breathing populist in the White House was Ivanka Trump.

“I strongly believe and would strongly recommend that Ivanka Trump immediately … if she is not going to remain an assistant to the president, she should immediately file and run for the senate and primary Marco Rubio in Florida,” he added, citing Mr Rubio’s decision to vote in favour of certifying the election results in Congress as a reason she could pick up the votes.

But Mr Bannon was not always so positive about Ivanka Trump.

Before earning a pardon from President Trump in his final hours in office, the pair had been estranged since Mr Bannon’s dismissal from the White House in August 2017 over his being quoted in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury calling Ivanka “dumb as a brick”.

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Israel Extradites Sex-Crime Suspect Leifer to Australia

Malka Leifer, a former Australian school principal who is wanted in Australia on suspicion of sexually abusing students, walks in the corridor of the Jerusalem District Court, accompanied by Israeli Prison Service guards, in Jerusalem, Feb. 14, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun / File.

A former Australian school principal accused of sexually assaulting students was extradited to Australia on Monday under an order from Israel’s Supreme Court, her lawyer said.

Malka Leifer had fought her return to Australia, including with a submission of mental illness, and the case has been in Israeli courts since 2014.

Leifer, who was principal of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne, has denied the allegations against her.

Wanted by Australian police on 74 sexual assault charges, including rape, involving girls at her former school, Leifer, who also holds Israeli citizenship, fled Australia in 2008 after the accusations surfaced.

Related coverage

January 25, 2021 10:53 am

Leifer had appealed her extradition to Israel’s Supreme Court, which in December upheld a lower court ruling that she could be extradited on the basis of a series of psychiatric examinations that found she had faked mental illness.

Leifer’s defense counsel, Nick Kaufman, told Reuters she was extradited on Monday morning. A spokeswoman for the Israel Prison Service also confirmed her extradition.

A spokesman for Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter said that the Australian government “does not comment on logistics involving extradition arrangements against individuals until the extradition process has been concluded.”

Photos published by Israel’s Ynet news site showed what appeared to be prison officials escorting Leifer, who was dressed in civilian clothing, aboard an aircraft at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.

Kaufman said that Israeli authorities had been expected to ensure “maximum respect for Leifer’s dignity” until she left Israel.

“This clearly did not happen, given the fact that photographs of her being led in handcuffs and legcuffs were leaked to the press,” Kaufman said.

Leifer’s extradition comes hours before Israel is due to ban passenger flights in and out of the country for a week in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The flight restrictions begin on Monday evening.

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Israel plans 2,000 additional hospital beds for Jerusalem, none for Palestinian neighborhoods

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The implications of recent China military moves for the US – analysis

Taiwan reported a “large incursion of Chinese warplanes for a second day running,” the BBC reported. Some 15 aircraft flew near the Prates Islands in the South China Sea. From Beijing’s perspective, it is merely flying over areas it claims.On Monday, a day after the report of the overflight, Chinese and Indian troops reportedly clashed in a high-altitude disputed area. There have been casualties. The clash apparently happened last week.By themselves none of these incidents are particularly important because they represent long-standing disputes. But they are interpreted by some media as representing a more muscular Chinese foreign policy. This is not new either: China has expanded its bases on various islands and has long-simmering disputes with the US and others.But the current posture is important because the world has changed since the pandemic, and there are questions about how the new US administration will deal with China.What we know is that the US National Defense Strategy envisions greater competition with “near-peer” adversaries such as China and Russia. How Washington actually intends to compete is unclear.US military procurement moves at a snail’s pace, while China is rolling out new ships and drones and other technology quickly. America wants to increase its navy, but it has dabbled for years on projects that didn’t pan out.Similarly, in the air, the US has yet to come up with a vision of how to use the next generation of drone swarming technology, paired with other drone programs, such as stealth drones and drones that work as “loyal wingmen.”Other weapon systems are being introduced as well. Last year, the US practiced with a new laser in the Pacific that could be used to down hostile threats, such as drones. Meanwhile, China has rolled out a long list of accurate and large missiles. Some of these are characterized as “carrier killers.”The US is potentially facing a crux moment, much like the war in the Pacific that took shape in the 1940s, in which adversaries learn whether new technology will work or not. For instance, Germany’s massive surface ships, the Bismarck and the Tirpitz, and Japan’s two Yamato-class battleships proved largely unnecessary facing technological innovations in aircraft that had been rolled out in 1940.NOW, 80 years after the events that saw important new technology applied to major state competition, the ramifications of what appear to be incidents off Taiwan, or in the borderlands above India, have global ramifications. A China that is not only rising economically, as it has for decades, but militarily, leads to many questions for the US, its allies and other countries.Washington has been pressuring its Middle East allies not to work closely with Beijing on strategic projects. US arms sales to the UAE, for instance, are supposed to plug a drone gap between the Emirates and Iran, giving the UAE more armed drones.For years, the US didn’t want to sell armed drones, while China was selling them everywhere. America’s drones are more expensive, and users of them say they are better, but China’s drones are increasingly important globally.The ramifications are clear in other areas as well. While Western countries critique China on human-rights issues, China has learned through experience in Hong Kong that more Western critiques are lip service. In the end, most countries in Europe need China more than China may need them.Chaotic Western responses to COVID-19 underpin a West that is a basket case of foreign-policy hodgepodge, economic disorder and potential political disintegration, as Western norms and concepts such as the EU have been challenged.Decades of Western policy still can’t deal with basic issues, such as how to handle immigration. Domestic chaos in the US, with a president who didn’t even concede the last election normally, is showing cracks in the institutions that underpinned the rise of these Western states for hundreds of years.In the absence of a unified West and other pacts that were the norm during the Cold War, such as the Baghdad Pact, a muscular NATO or other measures, it is clear that most countries, such as India, will face tensions with China alone. Similarly, Western media outlets have already signaled that they increasingly see China’s claims to Taiwan as legitimate, so Taiwan’s sovereignty may be undermined.The US has signaled for years that it wants to be done with “endless” or “forever” wars. In a war with China, certainly there are questions if the US would stand with Taiwan. Of course, the US still pays lip service to demanding the release of the Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, among other issues.America has reaffirmed support for Taiwan. US President Joe Biden has said the US is “back” in foreign policy. However, the degree to which it is “back” will be tested, and tensions near Taiwan or in the high altitudes between India and China are likely areas where such tests will come. Source

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Cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh publishes new book “Cats and Birds”

TEHRAN – “Cats and Birds”, a book containing a collection of paintings and drawings by celebrated Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh has recently been published by Karnameh Publications in Tehran. 

“The collection mostly includes paintings, drawings, and graphic designs, and they are not cartoons,” Derambakhsh said in a press release published on Monday.

“I have been working on the collection for several years, some of which were displayed in several exhibits and many were sold. They are the other side of my works and show my interest in animals,” he added.

“I have five or six more books with different topics that are waiting to be published but are still in the publishing houses because of the coronavirus and the high price of the sheets,” he added.

He said that Karnameh Publications is scheduled to publish a complete collection of his works, adding, “I have selected 10 works from each of the fields of miniature, drawing, cartoon, conceptual art and lithography that will be published in one collection.”

He noted that books will remain as the spiritual heritage of an artist helping works to be collected and preserved for the next generations and art lovers.

Known for his talent to find obscure themes for his creations, Derambakhsh, has worked as a cartoonist, a graphic designer, and an illustrator for over 50 years.

Derambakhsh has won many awards at international competitions including the grand prize of the Istanbul competition in 1990, the grand prize at Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun competition in 1998, and the grand prize of a Polish anti-war caricature contest in 2002.

The 77-year-old cartoonist has showcased his works in many exhibitions around the world.

In March 2020, Derambakhsh shared a collection of his cartoons on coronavirus with his fans on Instagram.

As the cartoonist had said before his cartoons reflect the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The new images also bore a small note giving warnings or recommendations to people to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Photo: Front cover of the book “Cats and Birds” by celebrated Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh.

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Fajr film festival to pay tribute to Parviz Purhosseini, Changiz Jalilvand

TEHRAN – The organizers of the 39th Fajr Film Festival plan to commemorate Parviz Purhosseini and Changiz Jalilvand, two cinematic figures who recently died of COVID-19.

The commemoration will take place at the closing ceremony.

Stage and screen actor Purhosseini’s credits include acting in “Bashu, Little Stranger,” by Bahram Beizai, “Kamalolmolk” by Ali Hatami, “Angelica Ship” by Mohamamd Bozorognia, and “Day of Angel” by Behruz Afkhami.

He was a graduate of acting from the University of Tehran.

Born in 1941, Purhosseini had played in over 100 films, theatrical productions, and TV series in collaboration with famous filmmakers including Bahram Beizai, Masud Kimiai, Davud Mirbaqeri, Ali Hatami, and Kamal Tabrizi.

Voice actor Jalilvand lent his voice to Marlon Brando and Paul Newman in many acclaimed movies. 

Jalilvand had voiced Burt Lancaster, Richard Burton, Bruce Willis, and Ed Harris, as well as some Iranian actors including Behruz Vosuqi, Mohammad-Ali Fardin, and Nasser Malak-Motiei.

He also lent his voice to most of the characters played by Jamshid Mashayekhi in the movies and TV series.

He began his artistic career with theater along with Abolhassan Tahami, who is also famous for his long career in voice acting.

He left the country after the Islamic Revolution and lived in America for about 20 years, however, he returned home and began his voice acting career in 1999.

He had also acted in several films and TV series.

Fajr president Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad said earlier that the festival, which is Iran’s major film event, will be organized on its regular date from January 31 to February 10, 2021.

Among the members of the jury of the official competition are Nima Javidi, director of the acclaimed drama “The Warden”, and Sareh Bayat, star of the Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama “A Separation”.

On the jury also is Bahram Tavakkoli, director of the acclaimed war drama “The Lost Strait”, which was highly acclaimed at the Fajr festival in 2018, earning awards in six categories including best film and best director. He is also the director of “Gholamreza Takhti”, a biopic about legendary Iranian wrestler Gholamreza Takhti.

Mostafa Kiai, director of the comedy film “Motreb”, which has become Iran’s box office hit of the year by grossing 380 billion rials (about $9 million) in 2020, has also been selected for the jury.

The jury is also composed of cinematography director Morteza Pursamadi, producer Jamal Sadatian and cultural manager Mohammad Ehsani. 

This year, in addition, seven productions from the Owj Arts and Media Organization, a major institution that produces revolutionary works in art and cinema, will be screened at the festival. 

They include the spy movie “The Government Expediency” by Hossein Darabi, “Karo” by Ahmad Moradpur, and “Mansur” by Siavash Sarmadi.

Photo: This combination photo shows voice actor Changiz Jalilvand (L) and actor Parviz Purhosseini in an undated photo.
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The urgent need to revitalize the Palestinian Left

It is worrying how the colonized, oppressed Palestinian, using left-wing jargon, has legitimized a racist solution disguised by liberation slogans. This has led to the disappearance of checks and balances from Palestinian politics and ultimately to the onslaught of right-wing politics on Palestinian basic rights as materialized in the Oslo Accords and the transformation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as two mega prisons, as the courageous Israeli activist and historian Ilan Pappe describes them in his book, The Biggest Prison on Earth.

The mainstream Palestinian Left basically consists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the People’s Party (ex-Palestinian Communist Party) all of which are, to various degrees, Marxist Leninist and considered themselves to be, like the Arab left, allies of the Stalinist Soviet Union during the cold war era. The collapse of the Stalinist Soviet Union was a fatal blow to all those organizations that had linked their fate to Stalinism. In fact, the Soviet Union supported the establishment of Israel as a solution to the so-called “Jewish Question” in Europe. This is why the Palestinian Communist party recognized the UN partition resolution 194 of 1947 dividing Palestine into two states, one for Jews and another for Palestinian Arabs. The ex- Communist party at the time failed to see the apartheid dimension of this catastrophic resolution which, alas, led to the 1948 Nakba.

As a result of adopting a Stalinist interpretation of Marxism, the Palestinian Left has historically expressed an undemocratic worldview both in general, and in relation to its Palestinian agenda, in particular. Lack of democracy and endorsement of the USSR’s position vis-a-vis the Palestinian cause, especially the two-state solution, were of course the outcome. The collapse of the USSR ushered the taming of the Palestinians Stalinist Left into an Osloized, evolutionary political force, ultimately leading to its implicit acceptance of the Oslo accords by accepting ministerial positions and participating in the Legislative Council elections of 2006, thus providing legitimacy to the institutions of the Oslo Accords.

It is very interesting to note that, in 1974, it was the Stalinist, left-wing DFLP which proposed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict” in the form of an interim program, but it was the Palestinian right-wing leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that adopted it and has turned it into a fetishized ideology, namely, an independent Palestinian state on 22% of historic Palestine, leaving the remaining 78% for apartheid Israel. 

The DFLP, in particular, takes pride in propagating the two-state solution i.e., two states based on ethno-religious identities, one for Jews and the other for Palestinian Arabs. This is, to my mind, the antithesis of left-wing and secular politics. But this is the legacy of Stalinist ideology that has been prevalent amongst left-wing circles in the Arab World and in Palestine.  

No wonder, then, that most Stalinist left-wing organizations in Palestine show a strong opposition to the secular democratic alternative, i.e., the establishment of a secular democratic state on the historic land of mandate Palestine, a state for all of its citizens regardless of their ethnic, religious, or gender identity. The exception is the PFLP which accepts the two state-solution as a step towards a secular one in historic Palestine. 

This is precisely why it is of paramount importance to come up with an alternative program of emancipation and liberation that moves away from the demagogic slogans of the Stalinist Left represented on the politburo of the PLO and dovetailing its right-wing leadership.

No to “flag independence”

The death of the Communist Party after the collapse of the Soviet Union, combined with the fact that the DFLP barely exists anymore on the ground, the apparent weakness of the PFLP, and the politics of NGOization adopted by the Palestinian National Initiative led by Mustafa Barghouti, means there is not a meaningful option within the existing Palestinian political structure for left-wing politics. An alternative political force that is grounded in grassroots politics, including BDS, is needed. With popular resistance in the areas occupied in 1967 and those colonized in 1948, with the mobilization of Palestinians living in the diaspora in refugee camps in particular, the Palestinian cause would definitely take a different path to freedom equality and justice. 

Without this serious soul searching and in the absence of a critique of the past 72 years, in general, and 52 years in particular (i.e., since the emergence of contemporary Palestinian Revolution led by the petty bourgeoisie in alliance with Stalinist left-wing organizations) the Palestinian cause as one of struggle against military occupation, apartheid, and settler-colonialism will certainly have to wait for a long time to be resolved. A bleak scenario would be for the Palestinian people to be left in the “political unconscious,” as the Marxist thinker Fredric Jameson calls it, exactly like native Americans, Aboriginals, and Maori. For the time being, it is obvious that the leadership of the Palestinian people, left and right, has unfortunately accepted the apartheid alternative—albeit beautified in the jargon of independence and Palestinian nationalism. 

What boggles the mind is how these organizations still believe in the so-called two state solution in spite of the fact that Israel has been following a strategy of colonization that has thwarted any future chance of creating an independent Palestinian state next to Israel by simply constructing irreversible facts on the ground. What we have ended up with in the Gaza Strip is an open-air, maximum security prison separated from the other prison in the West Bank. These two prisons cannot make a “sovereign, independent state” make, unless one calls ‘la la land’ a state, or what the late revolutionary intellectual and freedom fighter Amilcar Cabral derided as “flag independence.”

In the end, ss much as I emotionally understand the “logic” behind the two-state solution, I still cannot fathom as to how the left-wing in Palestine could not see the racist dimension implicit, and sometimes even explicit, in it. I fail to understand how those organizations accepted the legitimization of right-wing politics leading to the bantustanization of Palestine. Theoretically speaking, and this is very hard to say, the Palestinian Stalinist Left has not improved its theorization of the status quo and the Palestinian question. Moreover, it has also failed to show any progress in its position vis-a-vis the relationship between the Palestinian struggle and our international allies in the form of intersectionality.

After Oslo

It is obvious that we are witnessing the end of an era. It is the era of the so-called two-state solution and the interim program of the PLO; the end of Palestinian nationalism as defined by the petite bourgeoisie and the unauthentic middle class.  Hence the need for a paradigm shift in left-wing theorization of the Palestinian cause. We need an alternative paradigm that is characterized by a complete divorce with racist solutions, and with the Oslo era and with alliances made with reactionary Arab regimes. We need a paradigm that is based on a serious revolutionary understanding of the situation, an understanding that does not shy away from calling a spade a spade, calling Israel an apartheid settler colony that is based on the denial of the existence of the native population of Palestine, and pronouncing that Israel is an apartheid state not unlike the inhumane regime that ruled South Africa from 1948 until 1994.

It was with the support of conscientious people, international civil society, and the struggle on the ground that apartheid in South Africa came to an end. Likewise, we need the support of international solidarity groups and activists, and we need to empower ourselves through our struggle on the ground by combining two major pillars of the struggle – BDS and popular resistance – in order to be able to form what Antonio Gramsci called the “historical mass” that can bring about the desired revolutionary change. That has to come within a clear-cut political vision that is necessarily secular and democratic, combined with a social agenda that guarantees the rights of the oppressed classes, those refugees living in miserable conditions in camps in Palestine and in the diaspora. 

The most important lesson one learns from the South African struggle against apartheid, is not to shy away from linking racism to capitalism and its exploitation of the downtrodden classes. This is, to quote Cabral again, the “form of struggle which we consider to be fundamental” and which should not be forgotten or underestimated, “the struggle against our own weaknesses.” That narrow nationalism based on identity politics that threatens to move us away from the “historical mass,’ and away from what Edward Said calls “a cacophony of voices.” 

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