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Israel attacks Palestinian cities following synagogue assault

© Unknown
Israeli forces keep their position during clashes with Palestinians near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on November 18, 2014.
Tensions have been escalating in the occupied Palestinian lands as Israeli forces attack several cities and towns across the West Bank.

Israeli forces with armored vehicles attacked Palestinian cities of Ramallah, al-Bireh and Wadi al-Joz in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, leading to rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian man was stabbed by a group of Israelis in northern al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Fadi Jalal Radwan, 22, was attacked and stabbed by four Israelis while walking in the town of Kafr 'Aqab. He was seriously injured as he was stabbed three times in the legs and once in the back.

The rising tensions came after four Israelis and two Palestinians were killed in an attack on a synagogue in West al-Quds on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the two Palestinian men reportedly armed with axes and handguns, entered the synagogue in Har Nof, killing four Israelis, and leaving several others wounded. The two were then fatally shot by Israeli security forces.

Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered authorities to destroy the homes of the Palestinian attackers.

He also lashed out at the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying the attack was the "direct result" of his incitement.

Netanyahu warned that Israel would "respond with a heavy hand" to those responsible for organizing the deadly attack.

Tensions have been running high in East al-Quds after Israeli troops shot dead a young Palestinian man in northern occupied territories last week.

Israeli forces claim Khair al-Din Hamdan was shot during a raid, but video footage released after the incident shows an Israeli soldier getting out of his car and shooting directly at Hamdan.

Comment: And so it begins.

Stop

Forest Service caves in to fracking largest national forest on East Coast

© United States Forest Service
Fracking the George Washington National Forest will threaten the water supply for over 5 million people living in and around Washington D.C.
Threatening the water supply for millions of Americans, the U.S. Forest Service has opened the doors for oil and gas companies to drill by fracking the largest national forest on the East Coast, the George Washington National Forest, according to an updated federal management plan released Tuesday.

Backtracking on an earlier plan to restrict fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which has been linked to dangerous levels of air and groundwater pollution, the Obama administration reportedly caved to industry pressure to permit such drilling of the Marcellus Shale within park perimeters.

"In the face of dire warnings from the world's foremost climate scientists about the need to phase out fossil fuels by 2100 and an authoritative body of science demonstrating the health impacts faced by communities living near oil and gas development, this administration continues to promote an 'all of the above' energy policy rather than a swift transition to renewable energy," Bruce Baizel, energy program director for environmental nonprofit Earthworks, said in a press statement following the release of the new management plan.

"The President can protect the climate and public health, or he can continue to promote fracking," Baizel continued. "He cannot do both."

Comment: For more on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing: Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

Flashlight

What really happened at G20 summit in Brisbane

g20
So what did in fact happen at the G20 summit? The short answer is that it was a shriller rerun of the ASEM summit in Milan.

The same line up of European leaders joined this time by the Australians and the Canadians (Obama and Putin barely met) tried once again to bully Putin into doing what they wanted in the Ukraine, believing on this occasion that the fall in oil prices and in the rouble would make him more amenable.

In order to drive the point home a media blitz of quite extraordinary intensity was also orchestrated.

To their collective bafflement and anger, Putin refused to move an inch.

Comment: In sum, the MSM totally misrepresented what actually took place (no surprise there). For the interview Putin gave before the summit, mentioned above, see: Putin: The West's support of Russophobia in Ukraine will lead to catastrophe

Gear

Russians say it as it is: ISIL and the tale of too many coincidences

ISIL leader Al-Baghdadi is apparently alive and well - but knowing that his 'Caliphate' is under attack, he wants to deflect attention away from Iraq and Syria by destabilizing other key areas in the region. Here's where it gets interesting: there appears to be an awful lot of overlap between his interests and those of his coalition enemies.
© Flickr.com/ Thierry Ehrmann
Painted portrait of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
After surviving what was reported to have been an assassination attempt on his convoy last weekend, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi released an audio recording where he singled out targets for his new regional offensive, focusing on the Mideast and parts of Northern Africa. A deeper look at his plans shows that they might coincidentally aid certain interests of the international coalition fighting against his 'Caliphate'.

Which side is he really on?

First up on al-Baghdadi's hit list is Saudi Arabia, which ironically is home to many wealthy individuals that have long been suspected of funding ISIL's rise to power. The country formally denies any association to the terrorist group, although its official state ideology of Wahhabism is very similar to the extreme Islam that ISIL promotes. Still, it appears it wasn't extreme enough for al-Baghdadi and he now wants the Saudi monarchy must be overthrown...or so he says.

Comment: Sputnik - Russia's new international news agency and radio, created to battle vicious anti-Putin and anti-Russia propaganda, makes first steps in the right direction. It speaks the truth and even isn't shy about mentioning Israel's role in the ISIL deception.

SOTT also had a word or two to say about this and other blatant lies:

Binoculars

Putin's doing what no one else will: Fighting the oligarchs

putin
The Kremlin has launched a campaign to rein in Russia's wealthy elite in a move that is creating a backlash of discontent against Vladimir Putin.


Comment: From whom? Certainly not the majority.


The government has proposed new tax laws that will seriously limit the ability of the country's moneyed classes to hide their wealth abroad.

The legislation will seek to clamp down on companies and individuals using offshore tax havens and make Russian citizens liable for tax at home regardless of which country they earn their income in.


Comment: Contrast this with the U.S.'s FATCA, which goes after ordinary citizens living abroad, and doesn't even touch the corporations and oligarchs who make use of illegal tax havens -- all in the interest of making themselves even more disgustingly rich.


Comment: All that spin trying to make us feel sorry for those poor Russian billionaires kind of falls flat, doesn't it?

Stock Down

Is this Japan's last stand? PM dissolves Parliament, puts off tax rise to save 'Abenomics'

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
© AFP Photo / Kazuhiro Nogi
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he is going to dissolve the lower chamber of parliament on November 21 and call early elections in an effort to save his grand economic strategy dubbed "Abenomics."

Abe has also put off another sales tax rise to give the economy more time to recover.

Increasing the sales tax from 8 percent to 10 percent has been postponed for 18 months until April 2017. Monday's GDP figures show the country has slipped back into recession. Japan's economy shrank 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2014, which marked the second consecutive 3-month period of contraction.

The news was a shock to financial markets and another blow to Abe's three-stage economic plan aimed at putting an end to two decades of stagnation and deflation.

The plan involved using heavy monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan and a sharp, two-stage increase in tax on consumption to curb Japan's public deficit, and deregulation of a range of business activities.

Japan's public debt exceeds $10 trillion which is twice the size of the country's economy.

Comment: With Japan's recently announced reduction in GDP, could this be a portent to Japan's last stand?

As Sean Corrigan sarcastily notes:
So, if the BOJ can just move prices up for long enough, people will start to demand higher wages while companies will gladly accede, since they will be able to count on the Bank printing enough new money for them to meet the extra expense. As such higher wages are spent, this will mean that both the employers' sales and, miraculously, their profits will increase to the extent that they will soon be jostling to hire more of these nominally costlier workers.

Somehow or other, in one of those Deep Purple, 'I want everything louder than everything else' moments, wages will outstrip prices (so avoiding a disastrous fall in real incomes) yet payrolls will rise alongside wages since profits will outpace the gain in the outlay on labour.

Moreover - and here we get to the crux of the issue - though all this new cash is being generated by monetizing vast, ongoing government deficits, the debt stock will rise more slowly than prices, so postponing, if not indeed averting, the nation's long feared budgetary implosion as it is painlessly inflated away.

Oh - and there will be no first-user Cantillon inequities, no unintended consequences, no spill over to other countries, no undue
enrichment or undeserved immiseration of any member of the domestic populace along the way.
Real Japanese wages are anything but rising.

And as Michael Pento points out:
There is a popular American military term called a "last stand", which is meant to describe a situation where a combat force attempts to hold a defensive position in the face of overwhelming odds.The defensive force usually sustains very heavy casualties or is completely destroyed, as happened at Custer's Last Stand. General Custer, misreading his enemy's size and ability, fought his final and fatal battle of Little Bighorn; leading to complete annihilation of both himself and his troops.

The Japanese government is now partaking in a truly incredulous measure to expand its QE program in a desperate attempt to de-value its currency and re-inflate asset bubbles around the world. In other words, Japan is constructing its own version of a "last stand".

In a final attempt to grow the economy and increase inflation, Japan announced a plan to escalate its QE pace to $700 billion per year. In addition to this, Japan's state pension fund (the GPIF), intends to dump massive amounts of Japanese government bonds (JCB's) and to double its investment in domestic and international stocks. All this in a foolish attempt to increase inflation, which Japan mistakenly believes will spur on economic growth. But these failed policies have now caused Japan to enter into an official recession once again, as GDP fell 1.6% in Q3 after falling 7.1% in the previous quarter.

...

Japan is now guaranteed to be successful in the total destruction of its currency, the complete destruction of its economy and the collapse of the markets it is attempting to manipulate around the world. To fully understand its misguided reasoning, we have to explore how Japan got here in the first place.

With the rumored delay of its sales tax, Japan is clearly making no legitimate attempt to pay down its onerous debt levels. Therefore, one has to assume this huge addition to their QE is an attempt to reduce debt through devaluation and achieve growth by creating asset bubbles larger than the ones previously responsible for Japan's multiple lost decades. This will not return Japan back to the days of its "economic miracle", where the economy grew on a foundation of savings, investment and production.

...

The sad reality is that Japan is quickly surpassing the bubble economy achieved during the late 1980's. Its equity and bond markets have become more disconnected from reality than at any other time in its history. The nation now faces a complete collapse of the yen and all assets denominated in that currency.

This is clearly Japan's last stand and there is no real exit strategy except to explicitly default on its debt. But an economic collapse and a sovereign debt default on the world's third largest economy will contain massive economic ramifications on a global scale. Japan should be the first nation to face such a collapse. Unfortunately; China, Europe and the U.S. will also soon face the consequences that arise when a nation's insolvent condition is coupled with the complete abrogation of free markets by government intervention.


Light Saber

Putin's not corrupt, he's fighting corruption: Squandering of state funds will not go unnoticed

© Sputnik. Alexei Druzhinin
Squandering and outright theft of state funds will not go unnoticed, some individuals are already facing consequences, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

"Squandering, improper use of state funds, as well as outright corruption and theft will not go unnoticed," Putin said at a conference of the All-Russia People's Front civil society group. "Concerning certain individuals... conclusions have already been made."

Comment: Corruption was rampant in Russia in the '90s. As an inheritor of the existing system, Putin naturally gets the blame from armchair analysts and critics with an axe to grind (and a CIA-sponsored line to follow). What they don't tell you is that Putin has been doing a lot to actually fight the very corruption for which he is blamed. None of these people actually take the time to put themselves in his position. How do you deal with an inherently corrupt system? Simply fire everyone and start fresh (this is the short-sighted plan of the morons in Kiev, with their "lustration" bill)? Or use the existing structures, exploit their positive and practical aspects, and refine them by instituting new measures and practices to effect a better system?

Pistol

4 killed, 8 injured in attack at Jerusalem synagogue

© Reuters / Ronen Zvulun
Israeli security personnel search a religious Jewish Yeshiva next to a synagogue, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place, in Jerusalem, November 18, 2014.
Four people have been killed and at least 8 wounded when two assailants attacked worshipers with knives, axes and a pistol in a synagogue in North Jerusalem in the morning.

Israeli police say both attackers were shot dead on the spot by officers. Spokeswoman Luba Samri described the incident as a "terrorist attack," according to AP.

Israel's Public Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, has said that gun controls for self-defense will be eased in wake of the attack.

"In the coming hours, I will ease controls on carrying weapons," he said in comments broadcast on public radio.

He added that the new rules will apply to anyone who owns a gun license, such as private security guards and off duty army officers.

Comment: Nothing like a well timed "terrorist attack" to remind the world why Israel needs to keep doing what it does, especially when public opinion starts objecting to Israel's policies against the Palestinians.

Well timed also because today:
Spanish lawmakers were set to vote [...] in favor of their government recognizing Palestine as a state in a symbolic move intended to promote peace between the Palestinians and Israel but which has angered the Jewish state.[...]

The non-binding motion, brought forward by the opposition Socialists but expected to be backed by the ruling People's Party (PP) and other groups in the lower house of parliament, echoes similar votes in Britain and Ireland last month.

France is also eyeing such a non-binding resolution soon after Sweden's center-left government took the lead by officially recognizing the state of Palestine within days of taking office last month.
Not surprisingly, Israel is the one who gains from this "attack".

And something more from Gilad Atzmon:
The attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem today took place in Har Nof, a Jewish neighborhood built over the ruins of Deir Yassin, a Palestinian village whose inhabitants were wiped out on April 9, 1948. The Deir Yassin Massacre delivered a clear message to the Palestinian people. The Jewish militias were driven by genocidal inclinations and the Arabs better run for their lives. However, it seems as if the Palestinian collective memory is alive and kicking - it may be possible that the Deir Yassin Massacre was commemorated today.


War Whore

U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria only create more enemies around the world

© AFP Photo / Lucas Jackson
Anti-IS airstrikes play into the hands of extremists as radicalized Muslims across the globe are view the West as a big foe they want to fight against, Dan Glazebrook, political writer and journalist, told RT.

RT: A senior Kurdish leader is saying the CIA is underestimating the number of ISIS fighters, and they in fact number in their hundreds of thousands. If so, what will it take to defeat them?

Dan Glazebrook: I think to defeat them would really require a serious alliance. There is already an existing alliance, which is putting up an amazing job of defending Syria in particular against the forces of ISIS [now the Islamic State or IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] and the other forces that have been backed by the West in its regime change attempt over the last three and a half years. And that alliance consists of the Syrian government, the Iranian government, Russia providing diplomatic support, and Hezbollah on the ground as well. This alliance has blown everybody's minds in terms how it has managed to stave off an attack, [which has] had the backing and support of the US, Britain, Australia, [and most of the world's leading] military powers. Yet, it has managed to stave off defeat. This is the alliance that has been doing the work of holding back the forces of ISIS. One thing would help is if the West stopped effectively supporting ISIS. Although, they are officially at war against ISIS at the moment, their policy of destabilization of Syria, which has led to the growth of ISIS over the past two years, continues. Their policy is still to remove Assad. There was talk a week or two ago from the US that removing Assad will be a necessary preliminary step to defeating ISIS, which is nonsensical comment. But it does show the position they are coming from.

The US Congress passed a motion to support with $500 million the training for more soldiers to go and destabilize Syria to fight against the Syrian government to add to the growing list of soldiers, police and civilians that are killed by this insurrection daily. And to train them in Saudi Arabia which is the birth place of the ISIS-type violent sectarian ideology. What will be very helpful if the West was serious about defeating ISIS would be to stop providing it with effective support that is through the policy of destabilization of Syria. Of course that is not going to happen because the West still has this policy and it is not interested in defeating ISIS. ISIS is a key plank in their policy of destabilization. But this would be from the point of view what the West should be doing. If they were serious they would stop supporting ISIS and stopped destabilizing Syria.
Attention

The economic death knell that is Obamacare

obamacare
Did you know that some Americans are being hit with health insurance rate increases of more than 500 percent?

Taking advantage of "the stupidity of the American voter", the Democrats succeeded in ramming through one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever come before Congress.

The full implementation of Obamacare has been repeatedly delayed, but now we are finally starting to see the true horror of this terrible law. Thanks to Obamacare, millions of American families are losing health plans that they were very happy with, health insurance rates are skyrocketing, millions of workers are having their full-time hours cut back to part-time hours, rural hospitals all over the country are dying, and thousands of doctors are being driven out of the industry thus intensifying the greatest doctor shortage in U.S. history.

Comment: See also:

Many people won't be able to keep or even afford their medications under Obamacare

Obamacare is another private sector rip-off of Americans

Obamacare is a fiasco: Who says Obama hasn't united the country?

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