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Star of David

Israeli military to discipline intel veterans over public refusal to spy on Palestinians

idf solders
© Reuters/Baz Ratner
The Israeli military has threatened disciplinary action against 43 veteran servicemen who signed an open letter refusing to spy on the Palestinians for the IDF's elite military intelligence Unit 8200.

"There is no room for insubordination in the IDF," spokesman Moti Almoz said. "There are disputes and (opposing) political positions" but the military is not the place to take political actions designed to schism, he stressed.

"We in the IDF, up to the most senior officer, view this severely, and the disciplinary action will be loud and clear," Almoz vowed.

The IDF statement comes in response to an open letter of refusal that has been sent to the Israeli prime minister, the IDF chief and the head of military intelligence. In it, 43 past and present reservists openly proclaim that they refuse to serve in military intelligence. In witness testimonies, they detail the strategies used by Israel.

Their particular concern is the methods being used to collect information, among them blackmailing individuals to serve as IDF informants. "Whether said individual is of a certain sexual orientation, cheating on his wife, or in need of treatment in Israel or the West Bank - he is a target for blackmail," one testimony reads.

Such means of obtaining information throws the legitimacy and indeed the actual existence of the unit into question, as it does not necessarily serve Israel's national interest. Testimonies claim that there is no mechanism that monitors whether individual freedoms are respected.

"The notion of rights for Palestinians does not exist at all, not even as an idea to be disregarded," one witness statement said. "Any Palestinian may be targeted and may suffer from sanctions, such as the denial of permits, harassment, extortion, or even direct physical injury."

The open letter says the servicemen cannot continue their service "in good conscience, denying the rights of millions of people," and acknowledges that they "refuse to take part in the state's action against Palestinians," especially after Israel's recent military campaign in Gaza.
Red Flag

U.S. Senate kills 'Citizen United' reform - 'Our democracy is beyond broken'

© Brendan Hoffman
Activists rally for a constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on Friday, January 21, 2011 in Washington, DC.
"Our democracy... is beyond broken. It is beyond shameful."

Hope for a measure of campaign finance reform fell apart on Thursday after an amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling failed to move forward in the Senate.

Senators voted 54-42 to end debate on the Democracy for All measure, as supporters called it, falling short of the necessary 60 votes needed.

"Senate Democrats want a government that works for all Americans - not just the richest few," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) after the vote. "Today, Senate Republicans clearly showed that they would rather sideline hardworking families in order to protect the Koch brothers and other radical interests that are working to fix our elections and buy our democracy."

The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), would have enabled Congress and state legislators to override the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that deregulated campaign spending, which critics said gave unlimited power to super PACs and wealthy donors.

Its failure to pass on Thursday was a reverse from its advancement in the Senate earlier in the week, when it overcame an initial filibuster on Monday despite broad Republican opposition.

Comment:
  • US: The Fight to End Corporate Personhood Heats Up


Star of David

Political analyst: EU report of Israeli war crimes in Gaza a sign of shifting sands in public opinion

© PressTV
Press TV has conducted an interview with Henry Norr, a political commentator, from Berkeley, about the European Union delegation saying war crimes were committed by Israel in its attack on the Gazan population.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Let's look at the significance in your perspective at the situation of the delegation from the European Union who says that war crimes or basically genocide has been committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

Norr: I think it's an important sign of a much larger trend all over the world. I think the latest onslaught on Gaza has opened more eyes; forced more people even people who have previously been sympathetic to Israel to begin the grasp the nature of their brutal treatment of the Palestinians.

To me their use of the word genocide is not the key thing... I mean, certainly by the legal definition it is very clear a case of genocide, the legal definition doesn't necessarily correspond I don't think to what most people understand - at least in the United States - most people think of genocide as an attempt to eliminate the population altogether.

Many Israelis obviously would love to do that and there is more and more evidence that that is becoming policy, but so far we are not quite at the level killing everybody.


Comment: 91 percent of Israeli Jews support genocide.


But the important thing I think in this is the mounting pressure to impose some kind of economic sanctions and diplomatic sanctions.

Comment: Manipulating information is what Israel has to do to continue to justify its existence and occupation of Palestinian land. They have been successful for a long time:
  • Students take Israeli propaganda war to social media - Hasbara at it again
  • Whitewashing the Gaza massacre: Yet another online propaganda squad set up by Israeli students


Airplane

Lavrov hopes world will ultimately learn the truth about the MH17 crash in Ukraine

© ITAR-TASS/EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hopes that the world will ultimately learn the truth about the Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine.

"I hope that we are going to learn this truth but that does not depend on me," Lavrov told TV Tsentr's Pravo Znat (The Right to Know) program.

"Russia, its political leadership and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should constantly remind the world of the need to do that. It is not accidental that I cited the U.N. Security Council resolution (whose adoption we actively supported). What's written in it must be implemented by all. Such is the nature of this document," the Russian foreign minister said.

"All the rest is in the hands of those who have been assigned with the task to conduct this investigation," Lavrov added.

He said that Malaysia's Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had visited Russia. "He has been to Ukraine and the Netherlands and is planning to visit Australia," the Russian foreign minister went on to say.

Comment: Again Russia shows its sanity in this insane world.

Star of David

Breaking the Zionist deceptions surrounding Gaza and the 'War on Terror'

© Unknown
"There is a taboo," said the visionary Edward Said, "on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free."

For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can't look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the collusion of others, such as Canada and Australian, in this epic crime.

The attack on Gaza was an attack on all of us. The siege of Gaza is a siege of all of us. The denial of justice to Palestinians is a symptom of much of humanity under siege and a warning that the threat of a new world war is growing by the day.

Comment: For related content, check out:

Light Saber

Scotland Yet: A film about independence

Scotland Yet is a feature length documentary that takes a radically different approach to the debate on Scottish independence.

Blissfully free of sound bites, politicians and statistics, Scotland Yet examines the sum of several personal stories from across the nation to explore the many reasons why we find ourselves at such an historic impasse.

Filled with remarkable characters and sparkling with collective imagination, vision and humour, this is the story of a society that's beginning to see itself in a whole new light. From the old to the young, from veteran activists to bold artists, Scotland Yet delves into the past, documents the present and asks poignant questions about Scotland's future.

This films focuses on the real referendum debate, the one taking place in the streets, homes and communities across Scotland. It documents the most important discussion we have ever had, as democracy, place, what we have here and what we lack, come to the fore.

A coming of age story about a whole society: Scotland Yet is a unique and radical cinematic journey about a country that will never be the same again.

Help support independent Scottish film making by purchasing a DVD of the film.

Quenelle - Golden

First Minister of Scotland: We will win independence referendum

Scotland is to vote over its independence next year. In case of 'yes' vote the centuries-long union with England will be broken. What are the benefits and the drawbacks of such a move? Sophie Shevardnadze travels to the astonishingly beautiful Shetland Islands to meet with the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, the flagman of the independence policy.

X

Scottish independence leader Alex Salmond under fire for positive remarks about Vladimir Putin

© Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond at Tuesday's launch of the Ryder Cup exhibition at the Scottish parliament.
Alex Salmond has resisted calls for an apology after saying Russian president Vladimir Putin's patriotism was "entirely reasonable".

At the launch of Scottish National party's European election campaign, Scotland's first minister said his remarks had been misunderstood and he would not be retracting them. He said: "When people see the comments I made, they will see that they're perfectly reasonable. I said I deprecated Russian actions in Ukraine and also its human rights record. I pointed out that the western press underestimated Putin and that's obviously true."

Salmond encountered a storm of protest after stating he admired "certain aspects" of Putin's politics and his restoration "of a substantial part of Russian pride" in an interview conducted on 14 March for the May edition of the men's magazine GQ with Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spin doctor.

Michael Ostapko, the Scottish chairman of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, said Ukrainians had made "overwhelming comments [of] hurt, disgust, betrayal and astonishment" and called for Salmond to retract his comments. In the Commons, his remarks were described as a "gross error of judgment" by William Hague, the foreign secretary, and as a "dreadful blunder" by Jim Murphy, the shadow international development secretary.

Comment: Seriously? Hurt, disgust, betrayal and astonishment? Are these guys three years old? Holy Julius Caesar! You'd think Salmond came out defending child sacrifice or promoting a "Heil Hitler Day". The fact that Salmond even needs to defend his remarks (which were relatively light, if reasonable) speaks volumes. Michael Ostapko, William Hague, and Jim Murphy need to get their brains checked, because they are seriously out of touch with reality, but then, they're part of the British liberal establishment which stands to take a big hit from Scottish secession.

Cowboy Hat

Sen. Ted Cruz: There is a reason why the popularity of Congress rivals that of Ebola

© Businessinsider.com
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) believes there's a simple reason Congress is so unpopular: Elected leaders say one thing and do another.

In the middle of a Wednesday afternoon Senate debate on immigration, Cruz accused the Democratic leadership of privately stymieing his proposal to block President Barack Obama's "amnesty" plan. This, he argued, was a manifestation of Washington's integrity problem.

"The most frequent thing you hear all throughout the country is that the men and women in Washington, they aren't listening to us. Something happens - I don't know if it's the water or what it is - but they get to Washington, they stop listening to us and they don't tell us the truth. They're lying to us," Cruz said.

Cruz then compared congressional popularity to that of the Ebola virus devastating parts of West Africa.

"There is a reason why the popularity of Congress rivals that of Ebola: Because the American people recognize the people in this body aren't telling them the truth," he quipped.
War Whore

Patter from the oval office: Obama's four-point war advocacy plan

© Unknown
With your drums and guns and guns and drums, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and guns and drums, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and guns and drums
The enemy nearly slew ye
Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
Johnny I hardly knew ye.....
This memorable stanza from the classic anti-war song could not be more apt with respect to Barack Obama. He became President because he campaigned across the land draped in the garlands of peace. Yet he has now promised to spend his final three years in the White House smearing his face with war paint and strutting around the imperial city marshaling its "drums and guns and guns and drums".

And let's be clear. The President's so-called "counter-terrorism" campaign - -that special kind of violent eruption which isn't a "war" - -is not really about punishing some barbarians who have beheaded two innocent Americans and who have also recruited perhaps a dozen not so innocent Americans to join their blood-thirsty ranks. Civilized adults just do not start a war on the other side of the world on account of such thin gruel, as horrific as the actions involved might be.

Indeed, based on his stated reasons for war - beheadings and venomous rhetoric - Obama is on the same slippery slope that Woodrow Wilson stood on when he sent two million American GIs into the senseless slaughterhouse of northern France. It was to vindicate the freedom of Americans to sail into war zones, even on armed belligerent ships, he said.

Comment: This theater called ISIS was created by psychopaths to instill fear in the masses and feed the profitable psychopathic war machine. If humanity as a whole is terrified, they will be more willing to accept their rule.

See: Psycho 'Reality Creators' open 'gates of hell' in Iraq with proxy Jihadis

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