Friday, July 31, 2015

Hollow Israeli Sorrow Over Palestinian Baby Immolation by Settlers

Hollow Israeli Sorrow Over Palestinian Baby Immolation by Settlers

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli officials throughout its history consistently showed contempt for Palestinian rights - from Ben-Gurion to Allon to Meir to Begin to Rabin to Peres to Sharon to Netanyahu and others, an array of rogue leaders, not a democrat in the bunch.

All believed in affording rights solely to Jews. None supported fundamental fairness. All committed high crimes against defenseless Palestinians - from Ben-Gurion’s Nakba to Netanyahu’s Protective Edge along with decades of racist persecution from 1948 through today - horrific barbarism against an entire population, flagrantly violating international law unaccountably.

Netanyahu’s “shock” over 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha’s immolation by settlers belies his reign of terror on Palestine, his genocidal Gaza war last summer, his daily persecution of millions of Palestinian victims, his contempt for the rule of law.

IDF spokesman Moti Amoz ludicrously said “I cannot recall such a serious incident in the past few years.”

What about deliberately targeting Gazan civilians during Operation Protective Edge, murdering scores of entire families in cold blood, reducing residential communities to rubble, ordering soldiers to shoot to kill all Palestinians in sight - including women, young children, infants as they slept, the elderly and infirm.

What about attacking refugee camps, UN safe havens, hospitals, schools, mosques, residential homes and numerous other civilian targets unrelated to military necessity.

What about teaching young Jewish children to hate Arabs - manipulating their minds when they’re too young to understand.

What about a nation facing no threats mobilized for war at all times. What about soldiers rampaging daily through Palestinian communities, breaking into homes pre-dawn, terrorizing families, traumatizing children, vandalizing property, making lawless arrests followed by brutal interrogations amounting to torture, then detention without right to counsel or family contacts for days or weeks, including for devastated young children.

What about a racist rogue terror state exceeding South African apartheid viciousness. What about Palestine a virtual free-fire zone - soldiers and other security forces brutalizing and killing with impunity.

Opposition Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog called baby Ali’s immolation “terror of the worst kind.” What about Israeli mass murder last summer for 51 horrifying days, affecting 1.8 million trapped Gazans.

Israel is its own worst enemy. An accompanying article said regular settler crimes are a microcosm of issues of far greater consequence - reflected in daily state sponsored terrorism against millions of defenseless Palestinians.

They’re persecuted, beaten, and murdered for protesting peacefully for rights everyone deserves. They’re targeted for the crime of “fishing.” They’re shot tilling their fields.

Young children are terrorized at home, at play or coming from or going to school. They’re arrested and now face up to 20 years in prison for the crime of stone-throwing. They’re killed or wounded by trigger-happy soldiers with impunity.

International leaders able to intervene responsibly yawn and do nothing - endorsing Israeli atrocities by silence or inaction.

Nations mobilized for war at all times, waging them constantly, persecuting their own people and others, showing contempt for rule of law principles, and serving its privileged few at the expense of all others are doomed to fail.

America and Israel are Exhibits A and B - partners in horrific crimes of war and against humanity. Their day of reckoning awaits.

The late Chalmers Johnson warned about “the sorrows of empire,” a culture of corruption and militarism, endless wars of aggression called humanitarian ones, collapse of constitutional governance, a nation run by criminals posing as democrats, a phony war on terror not ending in our lifetime.

An unavoidable day of reckoning awaits. Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance and punisher of hubris and arrogance in Greek mythology is among us, he said.

She’s unseen, patiently stalking our way of life, awaiting the moment to make her presence known. Johnson compared her to Wagner's Brunnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen. 

Unlike Nemesis, she collects heroes, not fools and hypocrites. They both announce their presence the same way: "Only the doomed see” them, unable to escape their sting.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israeli Settlers Burn Palestinian Infant to Death

Israeli Settlers Burn Palestinian Infant to Death

by Stephen Lendman

On July 31, extremist Israeli settlers attacked at least two Palestinian homes in Duma village near Nablus. They arrived late at night.

They spray-painted anti-Palestinian racist hate slogans on the Dawabsha family home. They smashed a window, threw firebombs inside, set the structure ablaze, burned 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha to death, inflicted third-degree burns (the most severe kind) on three other family members - his mother, father and brother aged four.

Their home was completely destroyed. An adjacent one was partly burned. The attack reflects more than criminal arson. It represents an extreme example of systemic settler violence and vandalism committed against nonthreatening Palestinians on their own land - vicious racist acts rarely punished.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner called the attack “nothing short of a barbaric act of terrorism. A comprehensive investigation is underway in order to find the terrorists and bring them to justice.” We’ll see what follows.

Racist settler supporter Education Minister Naftali Bennett condemned the attack as “criminal…Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism,” he twittered.

What Israeli officials expressed outrage over its premeditated genocidal wars on Gaza, its ruthless persecution of millions of Palestinians for not being Jewish, its gulag filled with thousands of Palestinian political prisoners wanting freedom on their own land in their own country, a rogue state run by fascists, racists and religious zealots threatening world peace.

Settler crimes are a microcosm of issues of far greater consequence. So far this year, they carried out at least 120 West Bank/East Jerusalem acts of violence and/or vandalism - according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Often they happen with Israeli security force protection - or soldiers and police ignoring what’s occurring.

B’Tselem says “(t)he undeclared policy of the Israeli authorities in response to these attacks is lenient and conciliatory. Perpetrators are rarely tried, and many cases are not investigated at all or are closed with no operative conclusions.”

The Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights group addressed the issue in a June report titled “Standing Idly By,” saying:

Israeli soldiers do virtually nothing to protect Palestinians from settler violence and vandalism. According to an unnamed IDF staff sergeant:

“A Jew throws rocks. The soldiers will call the police. The soldiers won’t point their guns at him. They will not arrest him. They won’t do anything to him. The police likely won’t either, except for telling him off” - if that.

Israeli Knesset members just passed legislation mandating up to 20 years imprisonment for Palestinians (including young children) accused of throwing stones with intent to cause harm - true or false. No evidence needed. Guilt by accusation is standard Israeli practice.

Yesh Din said “(t)he phenomenon of ‘standing idly by’ refers to incidents when soldiers witness violence by Israeli citizens against Palestinians and their property and do nothing to prevent the harm while the action is ongoing; refrain from detaining or arresting the perpetrators after the event; fail to secure the scene to allow the collection of evidence; or fail to testify about the event to the police.”

International law requires occupying powers to protect the welfare of people in territories they control. Israeli High Court rulings mandate this responsibility.

“(T)he IDF is obligated to maintain law and order in the West Bank,” Yesh Din stresses. Its actions are polar opposite - facilitating settler violence and vandalism, doing virtually nothing to prevent it or arrest guilty parties.

Dozens of Breaking the Silence soldier testimonies show they’re not aware of their obligation. They’re not trained to help Palestinians they control.

Only one soldier was ever held accountable for failing to provide protection as international law mandates. Disciplinary action alone followed, not criminal prosecution, Yesh Din explained.

It “demands that the phenomenon be addressed on the criminal level and be defined as a crime in the Military Justice Law, which should impose a deterring punishment on soldiers and officers who commit such offenses.”

“Offenses by Israeli citizens in the West Bank - settlers and others - have been tolerated for decades,” Yesh Din’s Eyal Hareuveni noted. 

“In order to confront this long-standing and entrenched pattern, the IDF must issue clear and concise standing orders that clarify to the soldiers their powers as law enforcers and their duty to protect the Palestinian population,” he added. 

“Likewise, the offense of standing idly by should be defined as a criminal offense in the Military Justice Law.” 

Lawless Israeli occupation remains ongoing after nearly half a century. Long denied justice is as remote now as ever.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

US Neocon Urges War on Iran

US Neocon Urges War on Iran

by Stephen Lendman

Age hasn’t mellowed neocon lunatic Norman Podhoretz. At 85, he’s as outrageously over-the-top as ever. 

He urges mass murdering Iranians in a Wall Street Journal op-ed no respectable editors would touch. Journal editors featured it. Podhoretz urged the same criminal act numerous times before.

The late Alex Cockburn called him an “apex neo-con.” He nicknamed him “Norman the Frother.” Journalist Bob Dreyfuss once called him a “wheezing neoconservative warhorse.” 

He’s a longtime apologist for Israel’s worst crimes - and America’s. His anti-Iranian rants border on delirium. He calls the failure to stop its nonexistent nuclear weapons program the equivalent of not confronting Hitler pre-WW II.

It’s hard imagining anyone takes him seriously. He headlined his Wall Street Journal piece “Israel’s Choice: Conventional War Now, or Nuclear War Later.” 

He called “Obama’s (nuclear) deal a calamity.” He repeated the tired old canard about it furthering its path to the bomb. 

He ignores Tehran’s abhorrence of nuclear weapons, clear evidence its program has no military component, its longtime advocacy for a nuclear-free Middle East, and nuclear armed and dangerous Israel. Not a word about it.

“(I)f the objective remains preventing Iran from getting the bomb (the whole world knows it doesn’t have or want), the only way to do so is bomb Iran,” he ranted.

He ludicrously claimed diplomacy “never work(s).” And the real P5+1 goal is “open(ing) the way to lucrative business contracts.” If so, why wait 36 years to do it.

For Obama, it’s achieving “his long-standing dream of a US detente with Iran.” He “conceded just about anything the Iranians wanted - without…admitting (his) acquiescence (to) an Iran armed with nuclear weapons and the rockets to deliver them.”

“(A)llowing Iran to get the bomb, (he’s) setting the stage for a nuclear war between Iran and Israel.”

You can’t make this stuff up. Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries. It threatens none now. It bears repeating. The whole world knows its nuclear program is peaceful with no military component or desire to have one.

Israel is polar opposite - a warrior state, indoctrinating its people to hate Arabs from the cradle to the grave. Waging endless wars on Palestine and neighboring countries. Threatening regional peace and stability.

Podhoretz repeated the longstanding Big Lie about Iran “bound and determined to wipe the Jewish state off the map.”

His alternatives are “conventional war now or nuclear war later.” He urges unilateral Israeli war now to “spar(e) itself - and the rest of the world - a nuclear conflagration in the not too distant future.”

He’s not the only neocon lunatic urging war on nonbelligerent Iran. They know its government wants peace, not conflict.

They want it toppled - replaced by pro-Western puppet governance, letting mainly US monied interests loot its resources, exploit it people, at the same time eliminating Israel’s main regional rival.

The phony Iranian nuclear scare is all about power, control and carving up another country for profits - not its nonexistent path to the bomb or barbarians at the gates. A neocon lunatic fringe echo chamber wants this phony threat alone repeated ad nauseam.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

More Illegal US Sanctions on Russia

More Illegal US Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Unilateral or jointly imposed sanctions by one or more countries against others are illegal. Authority rests solely with Security Council members.

They must first “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression,” as UN Charter, Chapter VII, Article 39 stipulates.

They may then “decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures,” as authorized under Article 41. 

“These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.”

It bears repeating. All unilateral or multilateral impositions of sanctions circumventing Security Council authority are illegal. America is by far the leading scofflaw - a lawless rogue state operating by its own rules and standards exclusively, spurning fundamental rule of law principles repeatedly, ignoring what demands compliance.

On March 6, 2014, Obama signed Executive Order 13660 - a lawless diktat authorizing sanctions on individuals or entities allegedly involved in violating Ukraine’s sovereignty or territory.

On March 17, Executive Order 13661 followed - another extrajudicial diktat targeting Russia for its legitimate right to maintain a military presence in Crimea, its nonexistent undermining of so-called Ukrainian “democratic processes,” including nonsensical claims about threatening its peace, security, stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On March 20, a third Executive Order “block(ed) property of additional persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine.”

Fact: No constitutional authority permits Executive Orders - other than stating "executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America (Article 2, Section 1)."

Its use is abused by bypassing Congress. "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives (Article 1, Section 1.)."

Constitutional checks and balances prevent empowering one governmental branch over another. Diktat power reflects tyranny.

On July 30, Obama imposed further sanctions on Russia by Executive Order - perhaps in response to its vetoing a Security Council resolution to establish a US-controlled MH17 kangaroo tribunal, one Washington wanted to hold Moscow and Donbass freedom fighters accountable for its own complicity in Kiev’s downing the commercial aircraft.

Eleven more individuals and 15 companies were targeted - including affiliates of oil giant Rosneft as well as others linked to Vnesheconombank (a state owned Bank of Foreign Economic Activity called the Russian Development Bank). 

Eight have ties to Russian businessman Gannady Timchenko. Four are former Ukrainian Yanukovych administrations officials. Five are involved in Crimean port or sea ferry operations.

The US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets acting director John E. Smith commented, saying:

“Today’s action underscores our resolve to maintain pressure on Russia for (its nonexistent violations of) international law (or involvement in) fueling the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Our message is clear. We will continue to act to ensure the effectiveness of our sanctions.”

Other senior US officials lied saying Thursday’s action was “routine,” not an “escalation.” It’s further proof of Washington continuing to act provocatively, upping the stakes, headed toward likely direct belligerent confrontation if these actions along with military ones in Eastern Europe continue.

Longstanding US policy calls for regime change - replacing Russian sovereignty with US-controlled puppet governance, pillaging its resources, balkanizing its huge land mass for easier control and exploiting its people.

Paul Craig Roberts is right saying Washington “wants to coerce Russia into submission.” He cites the (Paul) Wolfowitz Doctrine - co-authored with his deputy Scooter Libby when he was Bush I’s Under Secretary of Defense.

Its core principles were part of the Bush (II) Doctrine - what the late Senator Edward Kennedy described as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.”

Roberts explains US policymakers consider any country “capable of standing up to Washington” a threat to its national security. “Today there are two such countries, Russia and China.”

“Washington always needs an enemy in order to justify the one trillion dollar annual budget of the military/security complex” and endless wars of aggression waged against invented adversaries threatening no one.

America’s hegemonic ambitions aim for achieving unchallenged world dominance - madness risking WW III, potential nuclear war able to end life on earth.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Russia Challenges America's Orwellian National Endowment for Democracy

Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian National Endowment for Democracy

by Stephen Lendman

NED’s duplicitous mission statement indicates a “dedicat(ion) to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.”

Its practices are polar opposite - a State Department-funded agency created to undermine democracy wherever it exists.

It’s a global mischief-maker - a rogue agency financing anti-democratic groups and initiatives in scores of countries worldwide. Its objective is regime change - notably in independent nations like Russia. It subversively interferes in its electoral practices among other ways of targeting its sovereignty.

Moscow’s mid-year 2015 enacted Law on Undesirable Organizations justifiably targets foreign organizations posing a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability or the security of the Russian state” - subversive groups no governments should tolerate.

On July 28, Russian Deputy Chief Prosecutor Vladimir Malinovsky “signed a decree recognizing the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, a foreign non-commercial organization, as undesirable in the territory of Russia in compliance with a law on measures of impacting people linked to the violation of basic human rights and freedoms and the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Russia.”

The document was sent to Russia’s Justice Ministry - including NED in its register of undesirable foreign organizations.

Action against the organization was long overdue along with targeting other US subversive ones. More on them below. Washington works aggressively against Russian interests - a longstanding campaign to marginalize, contain, weaken and isolate Moscow, with internal subversion one of many methods used.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov called the undesirable organizations law “without any question a step in the right direction.” Many so-called NGOs (like NED) are agents of foreign governments.

In late May, Putin signed the new measure into law. It lets the Prosecutor General’s Office and Foreign Ministry declare activities of “undesirable foreign organizations” illegal - ones posing a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or to the security of the Russian state.”

Non-compliance is punishable by administrative penalties. Repeated violations mandate imprisonment for up to six years. Russian citizens and organizations working with banned groups face fines only.

Russia’s 2012 Foreign Agents Law requires NGOs engaged in political activities to register as foreign agents or face stiff fines. They’re prohibited from supporting political parties. They’re free to engage in other activities.

NED is a longstanding political meddler. It’s named in a Russian upper house Federation Council “patriotic stop-list” - groups considered potentially threatening national security. 

Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said the list was created out of concern about foreign organizations operating subversively in Russia.

A Federation Council statement said “(t)oday Russia faces its strongest attack in the past 25 years, targeting its national interests, values and institutes.”

“Its main goal is to influence the internal political situation in the country, undermine the patriotic unity of our people, undermine the integration processes within the CIS space and force our country into geopolitical isolation.”

Groups included in the Federation Council’s stop-list are “known for their anti-Russian bias.” They include:

NED, George Soros’ Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Freedom House;  Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Polish-based Education for Democracy Foundation, East European Democratic Center, Ukrainian World Congress, Ukrainian World Coordinating Council, and Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights. 

Nations must protect themselves against foreign subversion without violating international rule of law principles. In enacting the Law on Undesirable Organizations and Foreign Agents Law, Russia acted responsibly.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Anti-Iranian Nuclear Deal Blitzkrieg in Full Swing

Anti-Iranian Nuclear Deal Blitzkrieg in Full Swing

by Stephen Lendman

Administration officials answered questions on the agreement asked by House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee members. Classified private meetings were held. They’ll be more in the weeks ahead.

Israel, its lobby and bipartisan congressional Iran-haters aim to undermine the nuclear deal years in the making. It includes the most intrusive inspections of any country’s nuclear program.

Known nuclear weaponized states aren’t held to account like Iran. America and Israel prohibit inspections of their thermonuclear weapons research, development and production facilities. No IAEA complaints are lodged - only against Iran despite its known peaceful activities.

A 2016 Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government spending bill provision calls for the Treasury Department to review sanctioned Iranian activities to determine if nuclear deal violations were committed before permitting their removal.

Another requirement is for continued checking for 180 days after sanctions are lifted. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved both provisions. Expect more congressional anti-Iranian actions ahead.

Former Arkansas governor, earlier Fox News talk show host, presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee is part of America’s lunatic fringe.

He called Obama’s foreign policy “the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that (he’d) trust the Iranians. (He’ll) take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

He lied claiming he “read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store,” he blustered. It’s got to be stopped.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) “denounced” Huckabee’s rant “in the strongest possible terms,” saying:

“Far, far too often, this organization has found itself forced to denounce politicians for invoking the Holocaust in inappropriate and offensive ways.” 

“These comments by Governor Mike Huckabee, however, may be the most inexcusable we’ve encountered in recent memory.”

“To state that President Obama is leading Israelis ‘to the door of the oven’ is not only disgustingly offensive to the president and the White House, but shows utter, callous disregard for the millions of lives lost in the Shoah and to the pain still felt by their descendants today.”

In response, Huckabee twittered: “Tell Congress to do their constitutional duty & reject the Obama-Kerry #Iran Deal” - followed by repeating “The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Marching Israelis to the Door of the Oven.”

Netanyahu continued his tirade - calling the strictest inspection process imposed against any nation by far “full of holes. The deal is terrible. It’s preferable to have no deal to this deal.”

It “permit(s) the IAEA to implement continuous monitoring (for 15 years), including through containment and surveillance measures, as necessary, to verify that stored centrifuges and infrastructure remain in storage, and are only used to replace failed or damaged centrifuges.”

Monitoring includes "electronic seals which communicate their status within nuclear sites to IAEA inspectors, as well as other IAEA approved and certified modern technologies.”

Iran has 24 days before permitting or denying access to non-nuclear sites - a right all nations would demand. None would permit unrestricted access anywhere in their countries.

According to Netanyahu, “Iran will become a nuclear threshold country with the potential to build nuclear weapons” - in “10 to 15 years.” Earlier he said within a year or two, then six months or sooner.

How can it with no nuclear weapons research, development or production and well-known opposition to all three activities.

P5+1 countries say Vienna terms reliably guarantee Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. They positively impact regional security.

AIPAC remains adamant against the agreement. “What can IRAN HIDE  in 24 days,” it asks?

  • “Most weaponization activity” - despite no evidence of any anywhere nationwide, at nuclear or non-nuclear sites.

  • “Centrifuge manufacturing” - intrusive inspections and sophisticated intelligence will be able to detect cheating if it occurs.

  • “Centrifuge components” - subject to the same checks.

  • “Uranium stockpiles” - inspections will know whatever exists.

  • “Incriminating documentation, computers, hard drives” - not likely to escape detection if exists.

  • “Computer modeling to simulate explosive devices” - easily checked by NSA surveillance.

  • “Work on firing systems” - monitoring and/or other intelligence will know if ongoing.

  • “Experiments with explosive lenses” - not likely to escape detection.

  • “Missile components” - unrelated to nuclear deal provisions.

“We need a better deal,” says AIPAC. It wants Iran eliminated as an Israeli regional rival - despite its peaceful agenda.

It renounces the Vienna-agreed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It endorses endless US/Israeli wars and destabilizing activities. Its agenda threatens world peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israel Declares War on Palestinian Hunger Strikers

Israel Declares War on Palestinian Hunger Strikers

by Stephen Lendman

Israel’s hardline Knesset approved legislation authorizing force-feeding Palestinian hunger strikers for justice.

Racist Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said "(a)longside attempts to boycott and delegitimize Israel, hunger strikes of terrorists in prisons have become a means to threaten Israel."

Cabinet members approved the practice weeks earlier. It’s torture by other means. It causes extreme pain and suffering. A previous article described the procedure as follows:

Tubes are forced painfully through their noses and throats to their stomachs. It's done abrasively. It draws blood. 

Liquid nutrients are pumped into their stomachs. No sedatives or anesthesia are given. The procedure is administered twice daily. If vomiting occurs, the procedure is repeated.

Tubes are generally reused. They're covered in blood and stomach bile. At US torture prisons they're passed from one inmate to another. Israel likely intends the same procedure.

The World Medical Association (WMA) is the preeminent international group in the field of medical ethics and practice. 

It condemns force-feeding, saying it violates fundamental medical ethics. When accompanied by "threats, coercion, force, and use of physical restraints, (it's) considered inhuman and degrading treatment."

It blatantly violates Geneva's Common Article 3 and other human rights laws prohibiting cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment. 

Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said “(t)he approval of such a law shows racism and brutality in the Israeli government. (It) believes that it is above the law by approving laws against the Geneva convention and international humanitarian law." 

Arab-Israeli MK Ahmed Tibi said that hunger strikes are a non-violent attempt for "legal and political achievements. It is the only thing Palestinian prisoners feel can be done in Israeli prisons.”

A statement from other Arab MKs bashed “a law to torture Palestinian prisoners, aimed at uprooting their legitimate struggle.”

The Israeli Medical Association (IMA) called the measure “damaging and unnecessary.” Its members will “continue to act according to medical ethics, which prohibit doctors from participating in torturing prisoners.” It stressed force feeding is “tantamount to torture.”

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) called the new law “shameful.” It reveals the “anti-democratic face” of Knesset extremism. It promised continued opposition to the measure and “support (for) anyone…refus(ing) to obey” it.

The Palestinian prisoner support group Addameer said the new law provides “legal cover” to torture prisoners. It’ll facilitate “kill(ing) more Palestinian hunger strikers.” Five others died earlier from the practice despite no law at the time authorizing it. 

A Knesset press statement said prison officials must use “all means at their disposal” to persuade inmates to eat before resorting to force feeding.

IMA and PHR-I may petition Israel’s High Court to declare the new measure in violation of fundamental international human rights law.

Most Palestinian hunger strikers are held administratively uncharged and untried - one of many draconian Israeli practices. They can be held indefinitely with no chance for justice - or if released are often rearrested and again imprisoned unjustly.

At any time, hundreds of Palestinians guilty of no crimes are persecuted this way. Haaretz editors addressed the practice headlining “Israel must stop draconian detentions without trial,” saying:

Israel doubled the number of administrative detainees since last summer’s Gaza war. “It reflects excessive, illicit use of a means intended only for rare, aberrant cases.”

At most, it should be “temporary, specific and limited” - never standard practice affecting hundreds of Palestinians unjustly.

It’s extrajudicial “without the guarantees, evidence and standards that the legal system requires.”

“The wholesale use of detention without trial is a severe breach of the right to liberty, one of the core rights of (Israel’s) Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. The state must restrict this measure to especially grievous and rare cases and stop its current practice immediately.”

Most Palestinian hunger strikers are administrative detainees held without charge or trial because they committed no crimes. No evidence proves any. Refusing food is their only way to resist a draconian practice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Irresponsibly Bashing Russia Veto Against Establishing Kangaroo MH17 Tribunal

Irresponsibly Bashing Russia Veto Against Establishing Kangaroo MH17 Tribunal

by Stephen Lendman

Neither Russia nor Donbass freedom fighters had anything to do with downing MH17. Not a shred evidence suggests it. 

Plenty points to Washington and Ukraine culpability. They had clear means, motive and opportunity - the key determinants for initiating a criminal proceeding. They and partnered nations want Moscow and rebels blamed for their crime.

The Obama administration conspired with Malaysia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine for unprecedented Security Council authorization for a tribunal to absolve culpable parties responsible for the incident and declare innocent ones guilty by accusation - a kangaroo process to be US manipulated and controlled to assure the outcome Washington wants.

Russia acted responsibly - vetoing what never should have been proposed in the first place - a thinly veiled scheme to avoid justice.

Eleven nations voted “yes” (America, Britain, France, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria and Spain). Three abstained (China, Venezuela and Angola). 

Russia’s veto defeated the draft resolution. Envoy Vitaly Churkin criticized its backers for submitting a measure with no chance for passage - rejecting compromise language Moscow proposed.

“(P)olitical purposes were more important for them than practical objectives,” Churkin said. Russia rejected the proposal because “UNSC resolution 2166 didn’t qualify the Boeing tragedy as a threat to international peace and security.”

How can it “now suddenly become one.” No precedent exists for establishing an international tribunal to hold culpable parties accountable for a transportation catastrophe, he stressed. Nor should the Security Council be involved in these type matters.

Common sense, logic and precedent didn’t deter Russia bashing by other SC members. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Moscow’s veto sends a “dangerous message of impunity to the perpetrator of this heinous crime.”

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop bashed Moscow saying “the anticipated excuses and obfuscation by the Russian Federation should be treated with the utmost disdain.”

“The exercise of the veto today is an affront to the memory of the 298 victims of MH17 and their families and friends.”

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said “I find it incomprehensible that a member of the Security Council obstructs justice.”

Kiev’s illegitimate foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin ludicrously said “(t)here is no reason to oppose (the proposal) unless you are a perpetrator.”

Neocon UN envoy Samantha Power’s comments didn’t surprise, saying:

“By vetoing this resolution, Russia has tried to deny justice to the 298 victims on that plane, and deny their families a chance to hold accountable those responsible.” 

“Russia has callously disregarded the public outcry in the grieving nations, the appeals of the families affected. It is tragic that Russia has used the privilege entrusted to it in order to advance international peace and security in order to frustrate international peace and security.”

She promised continued Washington efforts to blame Russia for US/Kiev criminality. She ignored how often America vetoes SC resolutions to hold Israel responsible for the highest of high crimes.

Media scoundrels bashed Russia irresponsibly. The New York Times said Moscow “(i)nfuriated nations that lost citizens…”

The Washington Post ran an AP article full of Russia bashing quotes. A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said:

“Russia will continue making the most energetic efforts on rendering all possible assistance to investigating the air crash.” It rejects politicizing the MH17 incident supported by Washington and 10 other SC members.

It urged adopting a constructive framework for determining culpable parties and holding them responsible.

“This is exactly what (unanimously adopted Resolution 2166) proposed by Russia…was aimed at - to broadly employ UN mechanisms for soonest completion of full, transparent and trustworthy international investigation of the crash and subsequently search for the most appropriate format of legal proceedings,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

”Only the full implementation of Resolution 2166 will (enable) finding those guilty and bring them to justice.”

“Russia condemns the destruction of Malaysian plane MH17 by unidentified persons and once again expresses deepest condolences to the relatives of all passengers and crew members that became victims of this horrible tragedy.”

Ten SC members ignored Russia’s responsible proposal. “Instead of that, they preferred to hastily submit for voting in the Security Council their own version with establishing an international tribunal without discussing any other options.”

“Our persistent explanations about inexpedience and counter-productiveness of such step, that had no precedents in the past, before the ongoing investigation into circumstances of the air crash is complete, were not taken into account.”

Washington and complicit partners intend exploiting Russia’s veto irresponsibly - another stick to justify maintaining lawless sanctions, US-led NATO troop deployments near its borders and continued vilification for baseless reasons. Imperialism works this way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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