• The power of silence
    Validation. Empty space. Selkie, creator of Forest of the Fallen, flew up from Tasmania to tell the ASF Conference how it has grown to 131 powerful displays nation-wide

    Alison Bevege
    The stories sway in the wind, each one a person killed or injured by the covid gene-vaccines.

    The Forest of the Fallen is the exact opposite of a protest.

    When Tasmanian mother-of-three Selkie started the Forest in 2021, she didn’t anticipate the surprising power of acknowledgement.


    Loraine from Adelaide with Selkie (right) who started the displays, at the ASF conference in November. Pic: Alison Bevege
    “A co-ordinator from Tin Can Bay in Queensland is a narrative therapist and we spoke of the healing impacts the Forest was having on so many lives,” she said.

    For people who were injured, or lost their jobs, or lost a loved one, or suffered division in their families, this simple acknowledgement can bring a tremendous sense of relief just by recognising the suffering.


    “Having a sense of their story being validated by a tactile, optical display - this alone is so healing for them as many have had no recognition at all,” she said.

    “Some are completely left alone.”

    It’s a silent vigil open to any passer-by to wander in and quietly find out what has happened.

    “There are some out there who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one or are injured by the vaccines. They also set up the forests now and this gives them a sense of purpose, knowing that they are far from alone and can at least help to stop the perpetuation of deaths and injuries.”

    Speaking at the Australians for Science and Freedom conference at University of NSW on November 18, Selkie explained the magic of Forest of the Fallen which has now grown to 131 pop-up displays across Australia with more than 550 stories.

    It’s the magic of an empty space.

    Holding a space for sometimes angry people and a confused country that is still in denial

    Selkie said she found that taking herself out of the memorial was the most effective way to allow people to discover for themselves, quietly, what happened, and to process it.

    “All along I’ve stressed the importance on making sure the display is not affiliated with any other group, movement, religion or political party, keeping it open to all sets of eyes with no exclusion and no bias,” she said.


    This beautiful soul bought us chocolates and helped. Pic: Alison Bevege
    It’s free from politics, it doesn’t try to change people’s minds. It only has one message: stop looking away.

    “By taking away the mutual judgements and not disturbing the onlooker’s process, it’s allowing them the time to grasp what it is they are standing right in front of.

    “Taking away all other propaganda and signage was important as I saw this, too, deterred onlookers from reading the stories.”


    FoTF, High Cross Park, Randwick, November 18. Pic: Alison Bevege
    Selkie said when she first started Forest of the Fallen in 2021, about 95 percent of onlookers were disapproving and outright rude.

    “Today the tables have completely turned and now 95 percent of onlookers are supportive,” Selkie said, and even police have become helpful, sometimes stepping in to protect displays from the rare “angry noodles”.

    “I’m now writing a memoir as it has been a truly profound, incredible journey for me.”

    Selkie, who compiles the PDF master list to print, and coaches all the volunteer co-ordinators, found herself working seven days a week to make the Forests run smoothly, while homeschooling her youngest child.

    The stories used in Forest of the Fallen have been widely reported in corporate media or documented and checked by Jab Injuries Australia, and are willingly shared.

    Share

    Letters From Australia helped set up a Forest of the Fallen, and I witnessed the relief: it’s like rain in the desert.

    On November 18 at High Cross Park, Randwick, we set up a forest with the help of Phil Schultz whose brother Barry died 18 days after the Pfizer shot, Bridget from Coogee Stand in the Park, and Loraine from Adelaide.

    Many passers-by had stories of their own.

    A bright young Russian with sparkling blue eyes told of how his wife died not long after the gene-vaccine, but he was sure it was not related. Then he ran to the shops and bought us chocolates, and promised to help us next time.

    A man on a bike immediately started helping put up the stakes. He refused the jab after the first injected man at his office ended up in ICU. He wasn’t getting it after that, but saw his colleagues lining up. They were afraid for their jobs.


    “Bike man” had his own story to tell. Picture: Alison Bevege
    Two Texan tourists said nobody dares tread on their freedom, yet when the gene-vaccines came out people just rolled over.

    “I couldn’t undestand it,” said one.

    Phil himself had a chance to meet Loraine, with whom he is unexpectedly connected by his late brother Barry.

    When Adelaide doctor Barry Schultz’s story went into Forest of the Fallen for the first time, his widow Diane went to see the display, which Loraine was setting up.


    (left) Diane with Barry’s story in Adelaide. Pic: Loraine. (right) Barry’s brother Phil with Loraine in Sydney. Pic: Bevege
    Loraine told the volunteers that Barry was a new addition, and that he had delivered about 1500 babies in his career before he took the Pfizer shot which killed him 18 days later.

    Just as Loraine was explaining, Diane came up behind her - “That’s my husband,” she said.

    It was a wonderful moment for both of them. A lovely acknowledgement.

    This is the healing that Australia needs.

    Don’t look away.

    Thanks to Kevin Nguyen, the talented filmmaker who compiled a magnificent video of the Randwick FoTF above.

    You can do this, too

    REPORT your gene-vaccine injury to the TGA here.

    TELL your story to Jab Injuries Australia here.

    VISIT the Forest of the Fallen here.

    CONTACT Forest of the Fallen here: You can do this, too.

    SEE the Forest on Instagram here.

    WATCH the Forest of the Fallen videos on Odysee here.

    JOIN the class action for vaccine injured and bereaved here.

    CONNECT with jab injured resources at Coverse here.

    Updates: 27 November, added Diane’s pic from Loraine in Adelaide, corrected spelling. 28 November: more spelling corrections plus Barry delivered about 1500 babies, more than 1000.


    https://open.substack.com/pub/lettersfromaustralia/p/the-power-of-silence?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

    https://telegra.ph/The-power-of-silence-04-03
    The power of silence Validation. Empty space. Selkie, creator of Forest of the Fallen, flew up from Tasmania to tell the ASF Conference how it has grown to 131 powerful displays nation-wide Alison Bevege The stories sway in the wind, each one a person killed or injured by the covid gene-vaccines. The Forest of the Fallen is the exact opposite of a protest. When Tasmanian mother-of-three Selkie started the Forest in 2021, she didn’t anticipate the surprising power of acknowledgement. Loraine from Adelaide with Selkie (right) who started the displays, at the ASF conference in November. Pic: Alison Bevege “A co-ordinator from Tin Can Bay in Queensland is a narrative therapist and we spoke of the healing impacts the Forest was having on so many lives,” she said. For people who were injured, or lost their jobs, or lost a loved one, or suffered division in their families, this simple acknowledgement can bring a tremendous sense of relief just by recognising the suffering. “Having a sense of their story being validated by a tactile, optical display - this alone is so healing for them as many have had no recognition at all,” she said. “Some are completely left alone.” It’s a silent vigil open to any passer-by to wander in and quietly find out what has happened. “There are some out there who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one or are injured by the vaccines. They also set up the forests now and this gives them a sense of purpose, knowing that they are far from alone and can at least help to stop the perpetuation of deaths and injuries.” Speaking at the Australians for Science and Freedom conference at University of NSW on November 18, Selkie explained the magic of Forest of the Fallen which has now grown to 131 pop-up displays across Australia with more than 550 stories. It’s the magic of an empty space. Holding a space for sometimes angry people and a confused country that is still in denial Selkie said she found that taking herself out of the memorial was the most effective way to allow people to discover for themselves, quietly, what happened, and to process it. “All along I’ve stressed the importance on making sure the display is not affiliated with any other group, movement, religion or political party, keeping it open to all sets of eyes with no exclusion and no bias,” she said. This beautiful soul bought us chocolates and helped. Pic: Alison Bevege It’s free from politics, it doesn’t try to change people’s minds. It only has one message: stop looking away. “By taking away the mutual judgements and not disturbing the onlooker’s process, it’s allowing them the time to grasp what it is they are standing right in front of. “Taking away all other propaganda and signage was important as I saw this, too, deterred onlookers from reading the stories.” FoTF, High Cross Park, Randwick, November 18. Pic: Alison Bevege Selkie said when she first started Forest of the Fallen in 2021, about 95 percent of onlookers were disapproving and outright rude. “Today the tables have completely turned and now 95 percent of onlookers are supportive,” Selkie said, and even police have become helpful, sometimes stepping in to protect displays from the rare “angry noodles”. “I’m now writing a memoir as it has been a truly profound, incredible journey for me.” Selkie, who compiles the PDF master list to print, and coaches all the volunteer co-ordinators, found herself working seven days a week to make the Forests run smoothly, while homeschooling her youngest child. The stories used in Forest of the Fallen have been widely reported in corporate media or documented and checked by Jab Injuries Australia, and are willingly shared. Share Letters From Australia helped set up a Forest of the Fallen, and I witnessed the relief: it’s like rain in the desert. On November 18 at High Cross Park, Randwick, we set up a forest with the help of Phil Schultz whose brother Barry died 18 days after the Pfizer shot, Bridget from Coogee Stand in the Park, and Loraine from Adelaide. Many passers-by had stories of their own. A bright young Russian with sparkling blue eyes told of how his wife died not long after the gene-vaccine, but he was sure it was not related. Then he ran to the shops and bought us chocolates, and promised to help us next time. A man on a bike immediately started helping put up the stakes. He refused the jab after the first injected man at his office ended up in ICU. He wasn’t getting it after that, but saw his colleagues lining up. They were afraid for their jobs. “Bike man” had his own story to tell. Picture: Alison Bevege Two Texan tourists said nobody dares tread on their freedom, yet when the gene-vaccines came out people just rolled over. “I couldn’t undestand it,” said one. Phil himself had a chance to meet Loraine, with whom he is unexpectedly connected by his late brother Barry. When Adelaide doctor Barry Schultz’s story went into Forest of the Fallen for the first time, his widow Diane went to see the display, which Loraine was setting up. (left) Diane with Barry’s story in Adelaide. Pic: Loraine. (right) Barry’s brother Phil with Loraine in Sydney. Pic: Bevege Loraine told the volunteers that Barry was a new addition, and that he had delivered about 1500 babies in his career before he took the Pfizer shot which killed him 18 days later. Just as Loraine was explaining, Diane came up behind her - “That’s my husband,” she said. It was a wonderful moment for both of them. A lovely acknowledgement. This is the healing that Australia needs. Don’t look away. Thanks to Kevin Nguyen, the talented filmmaker who compiled a magnificent video of the Randwick FoTF above. You can do this, too REPORT your gene-vaccine injury to the TGA here. TELL your story to Jab Injuries Australia here. VISIT the Forest of the Fallen here. CONTACT Forest of the Fallen here: You can do this, too. SEE the Forest on Instagram here. WATCH the Forest of the Fallen videos on Odysee here. JOIN the class action for vaccine injured and bereaved here. CONNECT with jab injured resources at Coverse here. Updates: 27 November, added Diane’s pic from Loraine in Adelaide, corrected spelling. 28 November: more spelling corrections plus Barry delivered about 1500 babies, more than 1000. https://open.substack.com/pub/lettersfromaustralia/p/the-power-of-silence?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web https://telegra.ph/The-power-of-silence-04-03
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    The power of silence
    Validation. Empty space. Selkie, creator of Forest of the Fallen, flew up from Tasmania to tell the ASF Conference how it has grown to 131 powerful displays nation-wide
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


    Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity.

    Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
    Post-Production: Adam Coley

    Transcript

    Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

    Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF.

    The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords.

    This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

    You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that?

    Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names.

    On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality.

    Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms.

    The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity.

    That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth.

    Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes.

    Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army.

    There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is.

    So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories.

    So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that.

    Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this.

    So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust.

    Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story.

    The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah.

    And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here.

    And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head.

    Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs?

    Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment.

    They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture.

    Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza.

    Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities.

    They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him.

    His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on.

    So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians.

    Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit.

    Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were.

    And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now.

    Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily?

    Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody.

    So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill.

    Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die.

    Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them.

    I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims?

    These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians?

    Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire.

    Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again.

    That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone.

    Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations.

    Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong?

    Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt.

    So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say.

    I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state.

    Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that.

    Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration.

    It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power.

    They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel.

    Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff.

    Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know?

    These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple.

    Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity.

    Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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    https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society

    https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave. Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity. Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino Post-Production: Adam Coley Transcript Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology. Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF. The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords. This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world. Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that? Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names. On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military. Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality. Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms. The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity. That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth. Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes. Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army. There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is. So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories. So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that. Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that. Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this. So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see. Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust. Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story. The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah. And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here. And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head. Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs? Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment. They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture. Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza. Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities. They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him. His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on. So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians. Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit. Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were. And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now. Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily? Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody. So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill. Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die. Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them. I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims? These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians? Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire. Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again. That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone. Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations. Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong? Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt. So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say. I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state. Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that. Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration. It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power. They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel. Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff. Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know? These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple. Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity. Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com. Creative Commons License Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    THEREALNEWS.COM
    The IDF's war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.
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  • The WHO Wants to Rule the World
    Ramesh Thakur
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications.

    The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat.

    The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices.

    From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues.

    The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab.

    Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all.

    The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper

    In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’

    The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later:

    …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness.

    What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments.

    The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority

    The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency.

    Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries.

    The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare.

    With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world.

    Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks.

    The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights.

    Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations.

    Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority.

    US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker.

    At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’

    Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’.

    A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice.

    Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability.

    The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association.

    Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks.

    It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’

    Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden

    In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade.

    The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness.

    Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny.

    Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix.


    The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children.

    Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda.

    Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever.

    Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1).

    According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia.

    If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000.

    Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden.

    A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World Ramesh Thakur The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications. The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat. The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices. From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues. The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab. Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all. The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’ The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later: …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness. What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments. The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency. Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries. The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare. With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world. Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks. The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights. Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations. Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority. US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker. At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’ Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’. A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice. Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability. The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association. Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks. It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’ Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade. The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness. Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny. Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix. The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children. Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda. Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever. Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1). According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia. If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000. Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden. A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
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    The WHO Wants to Rule the World ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June.
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  • American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh
    No Investigation Two Years After Suspicious Death of American Journalist Serena Shim


    Killing the Truth: In this article, first published by the Duran and GR in October 2016, the journalist who exposed the truth regarding the State sponsors of ISIS-Daesh is killed. Who are the state sponsors of ISIS-Daesh.

    Although all signs point to foul play, indeed murder, by Turkish intelligence, until now the US government has neither conducted nor demanded an inquiry into the events of the alleged car accident which Turkish officials say was the cause of Shim’s death, let alone offer condolences to the family.

    Serena Shim was at the time reporting on Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), from the Turkish side. She was, in her own words, one of the first, if not the first, on the ground to report on ,“Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border”. These include not only ISIS but also terrorists from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA).

    As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing in ISIS high-ranked members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.”

    Serena Shim’s January 2013 expose, “Turkey’s Pivotal Role in Syria’s Insurgency: PressTV Report from Inside Turkey,” showed footage of what she estimated to be 300 semi-trucks “awaiting militants to empty them out”; included testimony explaining how Turkey enables the crossing of foreign terrorists “freely” into Syria; spoke of the funneling of arms via the Incirlik US Air Base in Turkey to terrorists in refugee camps or on through to Syria; and highlighted the issue of terrorist training camps portrayed as refugee camps, guarded by the Turkish military.

    Shim named the World Food Organization as one of the NGOs whose trucks were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed. Notably, in that interview she also explicitly stated that she feared for her life because Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy. She told Press TV:

    “Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over. I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.”

    Two days later, Press TV announced her death, stating:

    “Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene in the city of Suruch in Turkey’s Urfa province. She was going back to her hotel in Urfa when their car collided with a heavy vehicle.”




    This was the official version of her death, although in subsequent versions the story changed. In a report one month later, Russia Today (RT) spoke with Shim’s sister, who said:
    “There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver. Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.”

    “Serena and my cousin who was the driver of the car were taken to two different hospitals. She was reported first dead at the scene. Then coming out with later reports that she passed away at the hospital 30 minutes later from heart failure?! ”



    POLITICAL BLACKOUT, MEDIA BLACKOUT

    When on November 20, 2014, at a Daily Press Briefing, RT journalist Gayane Chichakyan twice pressed Director of Press Office, Jeff Rathke, for updates on Shim’s death, he unsurprisingly gave none:

    Chichakyan: “It’s about the journalist Serena Shim, who died in Turkey under very suspicious circumstances. Did her death raise suspicions here at the State Department?”

    Rathke: “Well, I think we’ve spoken to this in the briefing room several weeks ago, after it happened. I don’t have anything to add to what the spokesperson said at the time, though.”

    Chichakyan: “But then she died several days after she claimed she had been threatened by the Turkish intelligence. Have you inquired about this? Have you asked questions? Is there really nothing new about this?”

    Rathke: “Well, I just don’t have any update to share with you. Again, this was raised shortly after her death. The spokesperson addressed it. I don’t have an update to share with you at this time.”

    Chichakyan: “I just want to go back to Serena Shim. You rightly said the State Department commented on her death several weeks ago, and you say there is no update. Why is there no update? A U.S. citizen dies days after she said she’d been threatened by the Turkish intelligence.”

    Rathke: “Well, I simply don’t have any information to share at this time. I’m happy to check and see if there’s anything additional. We spoke out about it, as I said, at the very start several weeks ago after her death, so I – but I don’t have anything with me right now to offer. I’m happy to check and see if there’s more that we can share.”

    Of course, neither he nor any US government official has followed up. Last year, Shim’s mother, Judy Poe, replied to me in a message:

    “There is no doubt in my mind that my daughter did not die in a car accident. There was not one single scratch on her there was no blood absolutely anywhere. I have tried to contact the American Embassy in Turkey with the cell phone numbers they gave me originally when I was going to get my daughter. Absolutely no response from the American Embassy in Turkey, including via personal cell phones.”

    Shim’s sister in her RT interview stated, “We’ve got no support whatsoever, nor have we got condolences.”

    None of the major journalist organizations have pursued a just investigation into Shim’s murder, much less lamented it. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) turns up zero results when Shim’s name is searched on their website. Yet, the CPJ does have a list of journalists killed in Turkey since 1992, and as recent as Feb 2016, obviously minus Shim’s name.

    Likewise, a search on the Reporters Without Borders website turns up zero results. A December 19, 2014 article at the Greanville Post does have a CPJ spokesperson stating:

    “The Committee to Protect Journalists has investigated the events surrounding Serena Shim’s death in Turkey and at this time has found no evidence to indicate that her death was anything other than a tragic accident. Unless her death is confirmed to be in direct relation to her work as a journalist, it will not appear on our database. In the event that new evidence comes to light, CPJ would review her case.”

    The article Greanville Post notes, “As of February 2016, the CPJ has not changed its position.”

    The International Federation of Journalists does have a short entry on Shim:

    “Serena Shim, the female correspondent for Press TV in Turkey was killed in a car accident on the Turkish-Syrian border. She was returning from an assignment in Suruç, a rural district of Şanlıurfa Province of Turkey when her car collided with a truck.”

    But no call for inquiry and no questioning of official narrative. In a November 21, 2014 article at Shim’s death, RT noted that, “the office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the OSCE told RT that Turkey is carrying out an investigation.” It cited OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Gunnar Vrang, as saying:

    “The representative has been following the case since the first reports appeared about the car accident that claimed the life of journalist Serena Shim. According to information available to her office, the Turkish authorities have started investigation into the details of the car accident.”

    Searching the OSCE for Serena Shim’s name also results in zero hits. On February 5, 2016, Judy Poe tweeted:



    Clearly the representative went with the Turkish rendition of events. Few in corporate media have looked into Shim’s suspicious death. In one surprising exception, Fox News reported on Shim’s death, citing a US State Department spokesperson as saying the State Department “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.”

    Given that Turkish intelligence threatened Shim, according to her testimony, and that Turkey is notorious world-wide for its imprisonment and murder of journalists, the US State Department’s lack of concern is incriminating in itself.

    In stark contrast to the silence around Shim’s death, John Kerry at least twice publicly mourned the death of James Foley, lauding as a hero the journalist who snuck into Syria via Turkey to report embedded with al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and giving sincere condolences to his family.

    Without a trace of irony, in August 2014, Kerry said of Foley, and never of Shim, “We honor the courage and pray for the safety of all those who risk their lives to discover the truth where it is needed most.”

    In September, 2014, Kerry directly contradicted the above-mentioned words of the State Department spokesperson, saying: “When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took.

    And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.” On the media and political blackout around Serena Shim’s suspicious death, Shim’s former colleague, Afshin Rattansi, host of RT’s “Going Underground” posited:

    “There were a few press reports, but nothing like the kind of reporting about a brave young journalist that one would expect. Was this because the story she was covering was so dangerous that a NATO ally like Turkey should be cooperating with ISIS… was that the reason that this story has not been more widely broadcast? We don’t know.”

    Indeed, this would not be the first time the US administration has not pursued justice for the murder of one of its citizens by an ally. Rachie Corrie’s March 16, 2013 murder by an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer was not only witnessed by numerous rights activists with Corrie in Rafah, occupied Palestine, but was filmed. There is no denial that the Israeli soldier saw Corrie, drove his dozer over her and then reversed back, crushing her twice.

    Yet, in spite of the efforts of her family and supporters, the US has never pursued justice for this American citizen either. Judy Poe said that Serena’s favourite motto was: “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” Shim lived the motto. She was 29, with two children, when killed.


    https://www.globalresearch.ca/american-journalist-killed-in-turkey-for-revealing-the-truth-regarding-isis-daesh/5551946
    American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh No Investigation Two Years After Suspicious Death of American Journalist Serena Shim Killing the Truth: In this article, first published by the Duran and GR in October 2016, the journalist who exposed the truth regarding the State sponsors of ISIS-Daesh is killed. Who are the state sponsors of ISIS-Daesh. Although all signs point to foul play, indeed murder, by Turkish intelligence, until now the US government has neither conducted nor demanded an inquiry into the events of the alleged car accident which Turkish officials say was the cause of Shim’s death, let alone offer condolences to the family. Serena Shim was at the time reporting on Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), from the Turkish side. She was, in her own words, one of the first, if not the first, on the ground to report on ,“Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border”. These include not only ISIS but also terrorists from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA). As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing in ISIS high-ranked members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.” Serena Shim’s January 2013 expose, “Turkey’s Pivotal Role in Syria’s Insurgency: PressTV Report from Inside Turkey,” showed footage of what she estimated to be 300 semi-trucks “awaiting militants to empty them out”; included testimony explaining how Turkey enables the crossing of foreign terrorists “freely” into Syria; spoke of the funneling of arms via the Incirlik US Air Base in Turkey to terrorists in refugee camps or on through to Syria; and highlighted the issue of terrorist training camps portrayed as refugee camps, guarded by the Turkish military. Shim named the World Food Organization as one of the NGOs whose trucks were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed. Notably, in that interview she also explicitly stated that she feared for her life because Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy. She told Press TV: “Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over. I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.” Two days later, Press TV announced her death, stating: “Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene in the city of Suruch in Turkey’s Urfa province. She was going back to her hotel in Urfa when their car collided with a heavy vehicle.” This was the official version of her death, although in subsequent versions the story changed. In a report one month later, Russia Today (RT) spoke with Shim’s sister, who said: “There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver. Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.” “Serena and my cousin who was the driver of the car were taken to two different hospitals. She was reported first dead at the scene. Then coming out with later reports that she passed away at the hospital 30 minutes later from heart failure?! ” POLITICAL BLACKOUT, MEDIA BLACKOUT When on November 20, 2014, at a Daily Press Briefing, RT journalist Gayane Chichakyan twice pressed Director of Press Office, Jeff Rathke, for updates on Shim’s death, he unsurprisingly gave none: Chichakyan: “It’s about the journalist Serena Shim, who died in Turkey under very suspicious circumstances. Did her death raise suspicions here at the State Department?” Rathke: “Well, I think we’ve spoken to this in the briefing room several weeks ago, after it happened. I don’t have anything to add to what the spokesperson said at the time, though.” Chichakyan: “But then she died several days after she claimed she had been threatened by the Turkish intelligence. Have you inquired about this? Have you asked questions? Is there really nothing new about this?” Rathke: “Well, I just don’t have any update to share with you. Again, this was raised shortly after her death. The spokesperson addressed it. I don’t have an update to share with you at this time.” Chichakyan: “I just want to go back to Serena Shim. You rightly said the State Department commented on her death several weeks ago, and you say there is no update. Why is there no update? A U.S. citizen dies days after she said she’d been threatened by the Turkish intelligence.” Rathke: “Well, I simply don’t have any information to share at this time. I’m happy to check and see if there’s anything additional. We spoke out about it, as I said, at the very start several weeks ago after her death, so I – but I don’t have anything with me right now to offer. I’m happy to check and see if there’s more that we can share.” Of course, neither he nor any US government official has followed up. Last year, Shim’s mother, Judy Poe, replied to me in a message: “There is no doubt in my mind that my daughter did not die in a car accident. There was not one single scratch on her there was no blood absolutely anywhere. I have tried to contact the American Embassy in Turkey with the cell phone numbers they gave me originally when I was going to get my daughter. Absolutely no response from the American Embassy in Turkey, including via personal cell phones.” Shim’s sister in her RT interview stated, “We’ve got no support whatsoever, nor have we got condolences.” None of the major journalist organizations have pursued a just investigation into Shim’s murder, much less lamented it. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) turns up zero results when Shim’s name is searched on their website. Yet, the CPJ does have a list of journalists killed in Turkey since 1992, and as recent as Feb 2016, obviously minus Shim’s name. Likewise, a search on the Reporters Without Borders website turns up zero results. A December 19, 2014 article at the Greanville Post does have a CPJ spokesperson stating: “The Committee to Protect Journalists has investigated the events surrounding Serena Shim’s death in Turkey and at this time has found no evidence to indicate that her death was anything other than a tragic accident. Unless her death is confirmed to be in direct relation to her work as a journalist, it will not appear on our database. In the event that new evidence comes to light, CPJ would review her case.” The article Greanville Post notes, “As of February 2016, the CPJ has not changed its position.” The International Federation of Journalists does have a short entry on Shim: “Serena Shim, the female correspondent for Press TV in Turkey was killed in a car accident on the Turkish-Syrian border. She was returning from an assignment in Suruç, a rural district of Şanlıurfa Province of Turkey when her car collided with a truck.” But no call for inquiry and no questioning of official narrative. In a November 21, 2014 article at Shim’s death, RT noted that, “the office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the OSCE told RT that Turkey is carrying out an investigation.” It cited OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Gunnar Vrang, as saying: “The representative has been following the case since the first reports appeared about the car accident that claimed the life of journalist Serena Shim. According to information available to her office, the Turkish authorities have started investigation into the details of the car accident.” Searching the OSCE for Serena Shim’s name also results in zero hits. On February 5, 2016, Judy Poe tweeted: Clearly the representative went with the Turkish rendition of events. Few in corporate media have looked into Shim’s suspicious death. In one surprising exception, Fox News reported on Shim’s death, citing a US State Department spokesperson as saying the State Department “does not conduct investigations into deaths overseas.” Given that Turkish intelligence threatened Shim, according to her testimony, and that Turkey is notorious world-wide for its imprisonment and murder of journalists, the US State Department’s lack of concern is incriminating in itself. In stark contrast to the silence around Shim’s death, John Kerry at least twice publicly mourned the death of James Foley, lauding as a hero the journalist who snuck into Syria via Turkey to report embedded with al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and giving sincere condolences to his family. Without a trace of irony, in August 2014, Kerry said of Foley, and never of Shim, “We honor the courage and pray for the safety of all those who risk their lives to discover the truth where it is needed most.” In September, 2014, Kerry directly contradicted the above-mentioned words of the State Department spokesperson, saying: “When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took. And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.” On the media and political blackout around Serena Shim’s suspicious death, Shim’s former colleague, Afshin Rattansi, host of RT’s “Going Underground” posited: “There were a few press reports, but nothing like the kind of reporting about a brave young journalist that one would expect. Was this because the story she was covering was so dangerous that a NATO ally like Turkey should be cooperating with ISIS… was that the reason that this story has not been more widely broadcast? We don’t know.” Indeed, this would not be the first time the US administration has not pursued justice for the murder of one of its citizens by an ally. Rachie Corrie’s March 16, 2013 murder by an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer was not only witnessed by numerous rights activists with Corrie in Rafah, occupied Palestine, but was filmed. There is no denial that the Israeli soldier saw Corrie, drove his dozer over her and then reversed back, crushing her twice. Yet, in spite of the efforts of her family and supporters, the US has never pursued justice for this American citizen either. Judy Poe said that Serena’s favourite motto was: “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” Shim lived the motto. She was 29, with two children, when killed. https://www.globalresearch.ca/american-journalist-killed-in-turkey-for-revealing-the-truth-regarding-isis-daesh/5551946
    WWW.GLOBALRESEARCH.CA
    American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh
    Killing the Truth: In this article, first published by the Duran and GR in October 2016, the journalist who exposed the truth regarding the State sponsors of ISIS-Daesh is killed. Who are the state sponsors of ISIS-Daesh. Although all signs point to foul play, indeed murder, by Turkish intelligence, until now the US government has …
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  • Israel's barbaric raid on Al-Shifa Hospital enters day six
    Israeli forces have abducted and killed hundreds of Palestinians sheltering in the hospital complex during the week-long assault


    As Israel continues its raid of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City for the sixth day in a row on 23 March, Gaza's Government Media Office was told by medical staff and displaced trapped inside that the army is threatening them with either destroying the hospital or torturing, interrogating, and executing them.

    The government media office said in a statement, "There are testimonies from within the Al-Shifa Medical Complex indicating that the occupation army threatened the medical staff inside the hospital buildings and the displaced, that it would bomb those buildings and destroy them over their heads, or that they would go out for torture, investigation, and execution."

    Al-Shifa Hospital used to be Gaza's largest and most equipped medical facility. Now, it lacks the means to treat patients altogether. Infections are spreading among trapped patients, and nurses are being executed.

    This invasion has been marketed as the further "destruction" of Hamas by the Israeli army, which claims it has arrested at least 500 and killed 170 fighters. Israel maintains that resistance fighters are "holed up" in the hospital.

    In a video statement on Thursday, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the assault would continue for "several more days." He claimed Israeli forces had detained over "500 suspects, 358 of which are Hamas and Islamic Jihad," and distributed a photo collage claiming to show their faces.

    However, the army provided no supporting evidence of the identities of the detainees, and some of the images originated from Palestinian Authority ID cards.

    The army later admitted the photo collage mistakenly included people "who have not yet been caught."

    It said that "due to human error, there are several photos in the graphic of terrorists who have not yet been caught but are, according to the information we have, in the area of ​​the hospital and are entrenched there."

    "When the operation is over, the identities of all the terrorists will be published," the army claimed.

    On 21 March, a Hamas security official told Al-Jazeera that the detainees' photos released by the Israeli army were inaccurate, adding that some were outside of Gaza, some dead, and some previously released. He said that the claim that dozens of resistance leaders were arrested is false, dismissing it as psychological warfare.

    One of the men pictured in the collage is Pediatric Doctor Anwar Sheikh Khalil, the Dean of the Medical Faculty at IUG University.

    AFP spoke to eyewitnesses at the hospital who said that "all men," including the sick and physically disabled, had been abducted by the Israeli army.

    A woman named Mariam said: "They asked us at around dawn with loudspeakers to go out or they would bomb the building."

    A 60-year-old patient interviewed by AFP said the army forced him to take his clothes off, and he was blindfolded and interrogated before being released.

    The Director General of the Government Information Office, Ismail Al-Thawabta, stated that Israeli forces killed more than 100 people inside the Al-Shifa Complex, including some medical personnel who were executed inside the complex.

    Thawabta reported that four patients were killed inside the hospital when Israeli forces prevented their treatment.

    Newly-released detainees and eyewitnesses told Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor earlier this week that Israeli forces executed abductees from the hospital.

    A survivor who asked to be identified only as “M.K.” stated to the rights monitor that, “The soldiers detained me and handcuffed me in the hospital courtyard; I was left undressed for more than nine hours."

    “About four times during that period, I saw soldiers lead groups of detainees—[always] at least three people and Never more than 10—into the hospital buildings, particularly the morgue building where bodies had previously been kept,” added M.K. “Gunshots were heard, with the soldiers then leaving the area to bring another group there," he said.

    https://thecradle.co/articles-id/24042
    Israel's barbaric raid on Al-Shifa Hospital enters day six Israeli forces have abducted and killed hundreds of Palestinians sheltering in the hospital complex during the week-long assault As Israel continues its raid of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City for the sixth day in a row on 23 March, Gaza's Government Media Office was told by medical staff and displaced trapped inside that the army is threatening them with either destroying the hospital or torturing, interrogating, and executing them. The government media office said in a statement, "There are testimonies from within the Al-Shifa Medical Complex indicating that the occupation army threatened the medical staff inside the hospital buildings and the displaced, that it would bomb those buildings and destroy them over their heads, or that they would go out for torture, investigation, and execution." Al-Shifa Hospital used to be Gaza's largest and most equipped medical facility. Now, it lacks the means to treat patients altogether. Infections are spreading among trapped patients, and nurses are being executed. This invasion has been marketed as the further "destruction" of Hamas by the Israeli army, which claims it has arrested at least 500 and killed 170 fighters. Israel maintains that resistance fighters are "holed up" in the hospital. In a video statement on Thursday, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the assault would continue for "several more days." He claimed Israeli forces had detained over "500 suspects, 358 of which are Hamas and Islamic Jihad," and distributed a photo collage claiming to show their faces. However, the army provided no supporting evidence of the identities of the detainees, and some of the images originated from Palestinian Authority ID cards. The army later admitted the photo collage mistakenly included people "who have not yet been caught." It said that "due to human error, there are several photos in the graphic of terrorists who have not yet been caught but are, according to the information we have, in the area of ​​the hospital and are entrenched there." "When the operation is over, the identities of all the terrorists will be published," the army claimed. On 21 March, a Hamas security official told Al-Jazeera that the detainees' photos released by the Israeli army were inaccurate, adding that some were outside of Gaza, some dead, and some previously released. He said that the claim that dozens of resistance leaders were arrested is false, dismissing it as psychological warfare. One of the men pictured in the collage is Pediatric Doctor Anwar Sheikh Khalil, the Dean of the Medical Faculty at IUG University. AFP spoke to eyewitnesses at the hospital who said that "all men," including the sick and physically disabled, had been abducted by the Israeli army. A woman named Mariam said: "They asked us at around dawn with loudspeakers to go out or they would bomb the building." A 60-year-old patient interviewed by AFP said the army forced him to take his clothes off, and he was blindfolded and interrogated before being released. The Director General of the Government Information Office, Ismail Al-Thawabta, stated that Israeli forces killed more than 100 people inside the Al-Shifa Complex, including some medical personnel who were executed inside the complex. Thawabta reported that four patients were killed inside the hospital when Israeli forces prevented their treatment. Newly-released detainees and eyewitnesses told Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor earlier this week that Israeli forces executed abductees from the hospital. A survivor who asked to be identified only as “M.K.” stated to the rights monitor that, “The soldiers detained me and handcuffed me in the hospital courtyard; I was left undressed for more than nine hours." “About four times during that period, I saw soldiers lead groups of detainees—[always] at least three people and [never] more than 10—into the hospital buildings, particularly the morgue building where bodies had previously been kept,” added M.K. “Gunshots were heard, with the soldiers then leaving the area to bring another group there," he said. https://thecradle.co/articles-id/24042
    THECRADLE.CO
    Israel's barbaric raid on Al-Shifa Hospital enters day six
    Israeli forces have abducted and killed hundreds of Palestinians sheltering in the hospital complex during the week-long assault
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  • Inside the anti-Syria lobby’s Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions
    Hekmat AboukhaterMarch 20, 2024

    A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission.

    On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. In the corridors of the Rayburn building, a group of roughly 50 people prepared for a busy day of advocating for sanctions to be levied against their homeland.

    They were the Anti-Syria lobby — and had I infiltrated their influence campaign.

    Throughout the day, I watched as this group pushed US officials to accept their policy of starvation sanctions while cynically ignoring famished Palestinians in Gaza.

    Among the lobbyists was Raed Saleh, the head of the Syrian White Helmets, who were to propagandize for regime change from behind humanitarian cover.

    I attended a total of seven meetings with policy teams representing Senators Sherrod Brown, Maggie Hassan, Ben Cardin, Mark Kelly, Chris Van Hollen, John Fetterman, and Rick Scott. Throughout these sessions, I witnessed the anti-Syria Lobby attempt to bully and manipulate US officials into accepting their policy of starvation while cynically throwing starving Palestinians in Gaza under the bus.

    At one moment, Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian White Helmets, which was founded by British intelligence, and funded by NATO states, painted Israeli air strikes against Syria in a positive light.

    During a separate meeting, Wa’el Alzayat of the pro-Zionist Muslim outreach Emgage even demanded Senator Chris Van Hollen’s office support the approval of aid for Al Qaeda-linked militias in Syria.

    “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he insisted, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, [and] the Qataris are doing it.”

    Purporting to be a voice for all Syrians, the anti-Syria lobby is spearheaded by the American Coalition for Syria (ACS), an umbrella organization representing opposition groups such as the Syrian American Council (SAC), the Syrian Forum, and a handful of others located in the US and Turkey.

    Emgage, meanwhile, has been credited with getting the diaspora vote out for then-candidate Joe Biden in November 2020. The group has since fallen under criticism for acting as a de facto extension of the Biden White House and Democratic Party within the Muslim community. Emgage board member Farooq Mitha formally went to work for the Biden Pentagon in March 2021. On March 7, Alzayat aimed to weaponize Emgage’s influence against Democratic Senators who seemed uncomfortable with an escalating sanctions policy.

    “I need a good story for my voters,” he explained to Senator Van Hollen’s team.

    Throughout their sanctions campaign on the Hill, Alzayat and his cohorts operated like a miniature version of their Israel lobby allies, supplying roughly 50 volunteers with folders outlining talking points and the biographies of congressional representatives. The bios included a comprehensive list of the Senator or Representative’s recorded stance on Syria, such as their votes on the extension of the AUMF, the US military withdrawal from Syria, and previous sanctions packages targeting the country.



    The handouts also laid out the lobby’s key legislative requests, which largely focused on securing development aid for militia-controlled territory in Syria — including that held by Al Qaeda’s local ally in the country — and ensuring passage of the ‘Assad Regime Anti Normalization Bill,’ which seeks to extend and expand sanctions targeting Damascus.

    The Anti-Syria Lobby’s resemblance to their Israeli counterparts was no mistake. As Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s chief of staff reassured us, “the Israelis want you guys in charge.”


    Syrian Civil War map|Syrian Civil War map (November 24, 2023) via Wikimedia Commons. Edited by author
    More Starvation Sanctions

    Ever since the US included Syria on its inaugural State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) list over Damascus’ support for the Palestinian resistance in 1979, Washington has gradually ratcheted up its financial war on the Syrian people. When decades of covert hybrid war erupted into an all-out proxy battle for the country’s territory—and survival—in 2011, the Anti-Syria Lobby officially began to take shape in Washington.


    Syria is the unrivaled champion of the SST having never been delisted since the list’s inception in 1979.
    In 2019, as Syria’s government emerged victorious from a multi-year battle with foreign-backed militias, Washington decided that while Damascus may have won the war, it would not win the peace. That January, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, a recipient of $1.8 million in AIPAC donations, introduced a sanctions package known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. Trump signed the bill as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2020.


    The US has a 45-year long tradition of sanctioning and isolating Syria economically in response to the country’s support of Palestinian resistance
    The bill was unprecedented in both the way that it sanctioned broad sectors of the Syrian economy rather than only specific individuals, and in its deployment of so-called “secondary sanctions.” Secondary sanctions are imposed on parties that do business with a sanctioned entity even if those exchanges occur outside of the sanctioning entity’s jurisdiction.

    Syria’s economy has been in free fall ever since the Caesar sanctions came into effect. Today, over 12 million Syrians representing more than half of the total population face food insecurity — a 51% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. In 2019, the US dollar exchanged for 500 Syrian Pounds. Today, that number is more like 14,100— figures that represent a 2,720 percent devaluation.


    The Syrian currency has devalued by 35,150% since the initial exchange rate of 40 SYP to 1 USD early 2011
    Though H.R. 3202 appears to be focused on addressing UN aid divergence, and sanctioning previously unsanctioned entities like Asma Al Assad’s Syria Trust for Development and the Syrian Red Crescent, the real agenda of the bill is found deep within its 22-page text.

    With the Caesar Sanctions set to expire by the end of 2024, H.R. 3202 seeks to quietly extend the aggressive financial measures until 2032.


    The new bill’s main aim, which received very little attention, is the extension of the Caesar Act for 8 more years.
    Having passed the House with overwhelming enthusiasm, H.R. 3202’s sister bill in the Senate can only pass with Democratic support. It was introduced by Israeli lobby-funded Republican Idaho Sen. James Risch last September and has since been co-sponsored by arch-neoconservative Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Because S. 2935 can only pass with Democratic sponsorship, the Anti-Syria Lobby chose Sen. Ben Cardin, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the anti-Russia Magnitsky Act, as a crucial target for influence.

    After meeting with Sherrod Brown’s office, Cardin’s Research and Legislative Assistant, Christopher Barr, hosted us in the Senator’s office. There, Raed Saleh of the White Helmets complained to Barr that USAID had slashed funding for his organization from $12 million to $3 million in recent years.

    Next, it was time to discuss the true purpose of our visit: the passage of S. 2935.

    Barr appeared uneasy from the outset and even expressed displeasure about the bill, complaining, “What passed the House was kind of a lot… the list of targets is vast.”

    “Syria has already been so heavily sanctioned,” he added.

    In response, Ghanem revealed a critical piece of information about the forces driving the dirty war on Syria, explaining that the impetus to expand and extend Caesar did not come from the Anti-Syria Lobby itself, but someone on Capitol Hill. Ghanem explained that the Hill source actually contacted the American Coalition for Syria to alert them to the fact that Caesar was set to expire, lamenting the fact that its sunset would amount to a loss of “US leverage over the Syrian regime.”

    This line echoed the disturbing language of officials representing both the Biden and Trump administration alike. In 2019, neoconservative operative Dana Stroul declared that thanks to Caesar, Washington “holds a card on preventing reconstruction aid and technical expertise from going back,” to Syria. She lauded the fact that the U.S. could weaponize that “leverage” to keep Syria in “rubble.” Two years later, she would take up post as Deputy Secretary of Defense for the Middle East under Biden.


    Similarly, during an event at the neoconservative think tank, WINEP, the following year, the Special Envoy for Syria under Trump, Joel Rayburn, boasted that Caesar “lowers the bar” for evidence-based sanctions and allows for the broad targeting of any and all reconstruction projects in Syria.


    “We don’t have to prove, for example, that a company that’s going in to do a reconstruction project in the Damascus region is dealing directly with the Assad regime,” Rayburn explained.

    “We don’t have to have the evidence to prove that link,” he continued. “We just have to have the evidence that proves that a company or an individual is investing in […] the construction sector, the engineering sector, most of the aviation sector, the finance sector, energy sector, and so on.”

    These public confessions did not stop the Anti-Syria Lobby from lying to the faces of congressional staffers throughout their March 7 campaign. During a meeting with Sen. Mark Kelly’s office, Ghanem falsely stated that the Caesar Sanctions were “targeted,” “not sectoral,” and “not [an] embargo, nothing punishing to civilians.”

    Yet Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sanctions who visited Syria to document the effects of Washington’s unilateral sanctions regime on Syria, disagrees. In her 19-page report she clearly states that the sanctions are both illegal and inhumane in the way they affect the average Syrian.

    Stabilization for me but not for thee

    The second legislative ask came in the form of a well rehearsed speech by Ghanem, Zayat, and others, outlining what US tax dollars do and don’t fund in Syria. US aid packages are typically divided into two categories: “humanitarian funding” earmarked for goods such as food, water, and basic medical supplies or “stabilization” funding designed to secure a country as it transitions out of a period of turmoil. Unlike humanitarian assistance, stabilization funding may be used to support major investment and infrastructure projects such as roads, schools, healthcare facilities, and government services.

    The US is the primary funder of humanitarian aid in both North East (NE) and NW Syria. However, while the US spends abundantly on stabilization needs in NE Syria, it spends $0 on the NW. That is because while Washington has long dreamed of establishing a secessionist Kurdish state in Syria’s Northeast, it neglected to send stabilization funds to the Northwest in order to avoid providing direct support to HTS, the Al Qaeda offshoot that governs the territory. The Anti-Syria Lobby was in Washington to change that.

    Leading the push for US funds to Al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Northwest Syria was Wa’el Alzayat, a Syrian expat who proudly served in Iraq’s Green Zone under George Bush’s State Department and more recently published a shocking Washington Post oped begging US officials not to “lift sanctions to help Syria earthquake victims.” In the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Alzayat voiced his frustration with US hesitation in the Northwest.

    “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he demanded, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, the Qataris are doing it.”




    We’re missing out on a golden opportunity here to stabilize the region and leverage it for a political settlement,” he pleaded. In other words, Alzayat was openly lobbying US officials to strengthen Al Qaeda’s position in Syria in order to leverage the terrorist group against the country’s government.

    Alzayat then weaponized his six-figure salary as head of Emgage to bully Van Hollen’s office into bowing before the anti-Syria Lobby, falsely claiming that his AIPAC-linked organization was “behind” the “Uncommitted” vote campaigns that damaged Biden’s primary performance in Michigan and Minnesota.




    Towards the end of the meeting, the regime change lobbyist cynically invoked Israel’s slaughter of 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to make the case for Al Qaeda in Syria one last time.

    He argued that although “his community” is up in arms about the Biden administration’s funding and arming of the Gaza genocide, they would gladly flock back to the Democratic Party if the US funded roads and schools in Al Qaeda-controlled Idlib.

    “I need a good story for my voters,” Alzayat explained, noting the Muslim community’s disapproval of the Biden Administration’s policy in Gaza and Yemen.

    “You’re upset about all these disappointments,” he continued, play-acting a scenario in which he convinced a Muslim constituent to vote for Biden, again. “Guess what? They’re pumping 50 million into the school sector in the North [of Syria]!”




    Overtures Towards Israel

    The Israel-Palestine crisis loomed large throughout the ACS lobbying trip. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s secretary happened to be a hijabi Muslim woman sporting a pendant outlining the map of Palestine around her neck. As she greeted us, Farouk Belal, the head of the Syrian American Council, grumbled to Ghanem and me: “I hope she’s not with the resistance.”

    When I asked him to clarify what he meant as we exited the office, he explained that people aligned with the Palestinian cause in Washington “don’t like us.”

    Meanwhile, in Sen. Cardin’s office, Raed Salah of the White Helmets painted Israeli strikes on Syria which have crippled Syrian infrastructure, regularly damaged the country’s International civilian airports, and killed hundreds of Syrian Soldiers and civilians alike in a positive light:

    “The situation in Syria is very complicated. Every day we hear of Israeli strikes on the dens, or the bases of the IRGC and its militias. Even we as Syrians did not know the extent to which the Iranians were entrenched in the country…”




    For Saleh, the Israeli strikes do nothing but highlight the presence of the Syrian government-invited Iranian military presence in Syria.

    Later that day, Ghanem attempted to capitalize on Sen. Fetterman’s fanatical pro-Israel antics by describing recent developments in Syria to a 20-something staffer. Referring to the Syrian government’s successful campaign to retake southern territory, he explained that the South is “where they lob missiles on Israel, by the way.” The aide dutifully transcribed this seemingly random piece of information in her notepad. Towards the end of the meeting, Fetterman was discussed as a potential Democratic sponsor of S. 2935 in the Senate.

    In Senator Rick Scott’s office, a Cuban American Government Relations Associate for ACS, Alberto Hernandez, accidentally said the quiet part out loud. When Senator Scott’s ultra-Zionist National Security Advisor, Paul Bonicelli, asked if our group had connected with our “counterparts” in the Israeli lobby so that they could “vet” our proposals — revealing that Scott has apparently outsourced his brain to Zionists — Hernandez remarked: “Formally? No. Informally.”

    He then turned to the rest of the ACS team in the meeting room and said: “You didn’t hear me say that.”

    That admission prompted Bonicelli to suggest that ACS directly coordinate with groups such as the Aramaic Church in Israel, which has supported regime change efforts in Damascus despite overwhelming Christian support of the government within Syria itself.

    As the meeting wound to a close, Bonicelli informed us that he agreed with ACS on the necessity to oppose Iran and Russia.

    “If Obama had done the right thing in 2012, we wouldn’t be here,” he lamented, adding: “the Israelis want you guys in charge.”


    At one point during the meeting in Rick Scott’s Office, Alberto Hernandez, and Sarah Salas, a Cuban American legislative aide, expressed full agreement with US use of unilateral sanctions as means to “push” governments that “we don’t like.”
    Starving Syrians Without A Mandate

    Though several ACS volunteers shared painful personal encounters with the Syrian government throughout the day, many were simply too far removed from Syria to truly represent the voice of Syrian people, especially the 12 million plus civilians currently living in Syrian government-controlled territory.

    One 24-year-old woman who did not speak Arabic and has not been to Syria since 2003 described the Syrian Army’s 2016 liberation of Aleppo from Al Qaeda-linked militants as “the fall of Aleppo.”

    Other Syrians like myself experienced the terror of the West’s proxy war in Syria firsthand. In 2012, my aunt and cousins watched in horror as the Turkish-backed Liwa’ Al Tawhid, an umbrella group of takfiri jihadist militias, arrived on their street in the Seryan El Jdideh neighborhood of Aleppo. The militants proceeded to execute a local pick-up truck driver and steal his vehicle, leaving his bleeding corpse on the street. Shahba, where my family lived up until 2015, was located just a stone’s throw away from these sectarian death squads during our final months there.

    The Syrian dirty war was bloody and gruesome, yet the picture that ACS paints is entirely one-sided. Unfortunately, while organizations like ACS have flocked to the Beltway swamp throughout the last 13 years, there are no Syrians present in Washington DC to counter them. While these groups claim to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, those of us who have lived and still live in areas controlled by Syrian government — regardless of our political affiliations—are rendered voiceless in the very center of power where our perspective should matter most. Even Syria’s embassy has been shuttered since 2014, while Syrian diplomats at the UN in New York are heavily monitored and restricted from traveling beyond the NYC metro area.

    As I witnessed on Capitol Hill, there are few obstacles to the anti-Syria lobby’s ruthless push to prevent the majority of Syrians from emerging from the ruins of war.

    https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/20/anti-syria-lobbys-capitol-hill-sanctions/
    Inside the anti-Syria lobby’s Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions Hekmat AboukhaterMarch 20, 2024 A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission. On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. In the corridors of the Rayburn building, a group of roughly 50 people prepared for a busy day of advocating for sanctions to be levied against their homeland. They were the Anti-Syria lobby — and had I infiltrated their influence campaign. Throughout the day, I watched as this group pushed US officials to accept their policy of starvation sanctions while cynically ignoring famished Palestinians in Gaza. Among the lobbyists was Raed Saleh, the head of the Syrian White Helmets, who were to propagandize for regime change from behind humanitarian cover. I attended a total of seven meetings with policy teams representing Senators Sherrod Brown, Maggie Hassan, Ben Cardin, Mark Kelly, Chris Van Hollen, John Fetterman, and Rick Scott. Throughout these sessions, I witnessed the anti-Syria Lobby attempt to bully and manipulate US officials into accepting their policy of starvation while cynically throwing starving Palestinians in Gaza under the bus. At one moment, Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian White Helmets, which was founded by British intelligence, and funded by NATO states, painted Israeli air strikes against Syria in a positive light. During a separate meeting, Wa’el Alzayat of the pro-Zionist Muslim outreach Emgage even demanded Senator Chris Van Hollen’s office support the approval of aid for Al Qaeda-linked militias in Syria. “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he insisted, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, [and] the Qataris are doing it.” Purporting to be a voice for all Syrians, the anti-Syria lobby is spearheaded by the American Coalition for Syria (ACS), an umbrella organization representing opposition groups such as the Syrian American Council (SAC), the Syrian Forum, and a handful of others located in the US and Turkey. Emgage, meanwhile, has been credited with getting the diaspora vote out for then-candidate Joe Biden in November 2020. The group has since fallen under criticism for acting as a de facto extension of the Biden White House and Democratic Party within the Muslim community. Emgage board member Farooq Mitha formally went to work for the Biden Pentagon in March 2021. On March 7, Alzayat aimed to weaponize Emgage’s influence against Democratic Senators who seemed uncomfortable with an escalating sanctions policy. “I need a good story for my voters,” he explained to Senator Van Hollen’s team. Throughout their sanctions campaign on the Hill, Alzayat and his cohorts operated like a miniature version of their Israel lobby allies, supplying roughly 50 volunteers with folders outlining talking points and the biographies of congressional representatives. The bios included a comprehensive list of the Senator or Representative’s recorded stance on Syria, such as their votes on the extension of the AUMF, the US military withdrawal from Syria, and previous sanctions packages targeting the country. The handouts also laid out the lobby’s key legislative requests, which largely focused on securing development aid for militia-controlled territory in Syria — including that held by Al Qaeda’s local ally in the country — and ensuring passage of the ‘Assad Regime Anti Normalization Bill,’ which seeks to extend and expand sanctions targeting Damascus. The Anti-Syria Lobby’s resemblance to their Israeli counterparts was no mistake. As Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s chief of staff reassured us, “the Israelis want you guys in charge.” Syrian Civil War map|Syrian Civil War map (November 24, 2023) via Wikimedia Commons. Edited by author More Starvation Sanctions Ever since the US included Syria on its inaugural State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) list over Damascus’ support for the Palestinian resistance in 1979, Washington has gradually ratcheted up its financial war on the Syrian people. When decades of covert hybrid war erupted into an all-out proxy battle for the country’s territory—and survival—in 2011, the Anti-Syria Lobby officially began to take shape in Washington. Syria is the unrivaled champion of the SST having never been delisted since the list’s inception in 1979. In 2019, as Syria’s government emerged victorious from a multi-year battle with foreign-backed militias, Washington decided that while Damascus may have won the war, it would not win the peace. That January, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, a recipient of $1.8 million in AIPAC donations, introduced a sanctions package known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. Trump signed the bill as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2020. The US has a 45-year long tradition of sanctioning and isolating Syria economically in response to the country’s support of Palestinian resistance The bill was unprecedented in both the way that it sanctioned broad sectors of the Syrian economy rather than only specific individuals, and in its deployment of so-called “secondary sanctions.” Secondary sanctions are imposed on parties that do business with a sanctioned entity even if those exchanges occur outside of the sanctioning entity’s jurisdiction. Syria’s economy has been in free fall ever since the Caesar sanctions came into effect. Today, over 12 million Syrians representing more than half of the total population face food insecurity — a 51% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. In 2019, the US dollar exchanged for 500 Syrian Pounds. Today, that number is more like 14,100— figures that represent a 2,720 percent devaluation. The Syrian currency has devalued by 35,150% since the initial exchange rate of 40 SYP to 1 USD early 2011 Though H.R. 3202 appears to be focused on addressing UN aid divergence, and sanctioning previously unsanctioned entities like Asma Al Assad’s Syria Trust for Development and the Syrian Red Crescent, the real agenda of the bill is found deep within its 22-page text. With the Caesar Sanctions set to expire by the end of 2024, H.R. 3202 seeks to quietly extend the aggressive financial measures until 2032. The new bill’s main aim, which received very little attention, is the extension of the Caesar Act for 8 more years. Having passed the House with overwhelming enthusiasm, H.R. 3202’s sister bill in the Senate can only pass with Democratic support. It was introduced by Israeli lobby-funded Republican Idaho Sen. James Risch last September and has since been co-sponsored by arch-neoconservative Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Because S. 2935 can only pass with Democratic sponsorship, the Anti-Syria Lobby chose Sen. Ben Cardin, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the anti-Russia Magnitsky Act, as a crucial target for influence. After meeting with Sherrod Brown’s office, Cardin’s Research and Legislative Assistant, Christopher Barr, hosted us in the Senator’s office. There, Raed Saleh of the White Helmets complained to Barr that USAID had slashed funding for his organization from $12 million to $3 million in recent years. Next, it was time to discuss the true purpose of our visit: the passage of S. 2935. Barr appeared uneasy from the outset and even expressed displeasure about the bill, complaining, “What passed the House was kind of a lot… the list of targets is vast.” “Syria has already been so heavily sanctioned,” he added. In response, Ghanem revealed a critical piece of information about the forces driving the dirty war on Syria, explaining that the impetus to expand and extend Caesar did not come from the Anti-Syria Lobby itself, but someone on Capitol Hill. Ghanem explained that the Hill source actually contacted the American Coalition for Syria to alert them to the fact that Caesar was set to expire, lamenting the fact that its sunset would amount to a loss of “US leverage over the Syrian regime.” This line echoed the disturbing language of officials representing both the Biden and Trump administration alike. In 2019, neoconservative operative Dana Stroul declared that thanks to Caesar, Washington “holds a card on preventing reconstruction aid and technical expertise from going back,” to Syria. She lauded the fact that the U.S. could weaponize that “leverage” to keep Syria in “rubble.” Two years later, she would take up post as Deputy Secretary of Defense for the Middle East under Biden. Similarly, during an event at the neoconservative think tank, WINEP, the following year, the Special Envoy for Syria under Trump, Joel Rayburn, boasted that Caesar “lowers the bar” for evidence-based sanctions and allows for the broad targeting of any and all reconstruction projects in Syria. “We don’t have to prove, for example, that a company that’s going in to do a reconstruction project in the Damascus region is dealing directly with the Assad regime,” Rayburn explained. “We don’t have to have the evidence to prove that link,” he continued. “We just have to have the evidence that proves that a company or an individual is investing in […] the construction sector, the engineering sector, most of the aviation sector, the finance sector, energy sector, and so on.” These public confessions did not stop the Anti-Syria Lobby from lying to the faces of congressional staffers throughout their March 7 campaign. During a meeting with Sen. Mark Kelly’s office, Ghanem falsely stated that the Caesar Sanctions were “targeted,” “not sectoral,” and “not [an] embargo, nothing punishing to civilians.” Yet Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sanctions who visited Syria to document the effects of Washington’s unilateral sanctions regime on Syria, disagrees. In her 19-page report she clearly states that the sanctions are both illegal and inhumane in the way they affect the average Syrian. Stabilization for me but not for thee The second legislative ask came in the form of a well rehearsed speech by Ghanem, Zayat, and others, outlining what US tax dollars do and don’t fund in Syria. US aid packages are typically divided into two categories: “humanitarian funding” earmarked for goods such as food, water, and basic medical supplies or “stabilization” funding designed to secure a country as it transitions out of a period of turmoil. Unlike humanitarian assistance, stabilization funding may be used to support major investment and infrastructure projects such as roads, schools, healthcare facilities, and government services. The US is the primary funder of humanitarian aid in both North East (NE) and NW Syria. However, while the US spends abundantly on stabilization needs in NE Syria, it spends $0 on the NW. That is because while Washington has long dreamed of establishing a secessionist Kurdish state in Syria’s Northeast, it neglected to send stabilization funds to the Northwest in order to avoid providing direct support to HTS, the Al Qaeda offshoot that governs the territory. The Anti-Syria Lobby was in Washington to change that. Leading the push for US funds to Al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Northwest Syria was Wa’el Alzayat, a Syrian expat who proudly served in Iraq’s Green Zone under George Bush’s State Department and more recently published a shocking Washington Post oped begging US officials not to “lift sanctions to help Syria earthquake victims.” In the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Alzayat voiced his frustration with US hesitation in the Northwest. “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he demanded, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, the Qataris are doing it.” We’re missing out on a golden opportunity here to stabilize the region and leverage it for a political settlement,” he pleaded. In other words, Alzayat was openly lobbying US officials to strengthen Al Qaeda’s position in Syria in order to leverage the terrorist group against the country’s government. Alzayat then weaponized his six-figure salary as head of Emgage to bully Van Hollen’s office into bowing before the anti-Syria Lobby, falsely claiming that his AIPAC-linked organization was “behind” the “Uncommitted” vote campaigns that damaged Biden’s primary performance in Michigan and Minnesota. Towards the end of the meeting, the regime change lobbyist cynically invoked Israel’s slaughter of 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to make the case for Al Qaeda in Syria one last time. He argued that although “his community” is up in arms about the Biden administration’s funding and arming of the Gaza genocide, they would gladly flock back to the Democratic Party if the US funded roads and schools in Al Qaeda-controlled Idlib. “I need a good story for my voters,” Alzayat explained, noting the Muslim community’s disapproval of the Biden Administration’s policy in Gaza and Yemen. “You’re upset about all these disappointments,” he continued, play-acting a scenario in which he convinced a Muslim constituent to vote for Biden, again. “Guess what? They’re pumping 50 million into the school sector in the North [of Syria]!” Overtures Towards Israel The Israel-Palestine crisis loomed large throughout the ACS lobbying trip. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s secretary happened to be a hijabi Muslim woman sporting a pendant outlining the map of Palestine around her neck. As she greeted us, Farouk Belal, the head of the Syrian American Council, grumbled to Ghanem and me: “I hope she’s not with the resistance.” When I asked him to clarify what he meant as we exited the office, he explained that people aligned with the Palestinian cause in Washington “don’t like us.” Meanwhile, in Sen. Cardin’s office, Raed Salah of the White Helmets painted Israeli strikes on Syria which have crippled Syrian infrastructure, regularly damaged the country’s International civilian airports, and killed hundreds of Syrian Soldiers and civilians alike in a positive light: “The situation in Syria is very complicated. Every day we hear of Israeli strikes on the dens, or the bases of the IRGC and its militias. Even we as Syrians did not know the extent to which the Iranians were entrenched in the country…” For Saleh, the Israeli strikes do nothing but highlight the presence of the Syrian government-invited Iranian military presence in Syria. Later that day, Ghanem attempted to capitalize on Sen. Fetterman’s fanatical pro-Israel antics by describing recent developments in Syria to a 20-something staffer. Referring to the Syrian government’s successful campaign to retake southern territory, he explained that the South is “where they lob missiles on Israel, by the way.” The aide dutifully transcribed this seemingly random piece of information in her notepad. Towards the end of the meeting, Fetterman was discussed as a potential Democratic sponsor of S. 2935 in the Senate. In Senator Rick Scott’s office, a Cuban American Government Relations Associate for ACS, Alberto Hernandez, accidentally said the quiet part out loud. When Senator Scott’s ultra-Zionist National Security Advisor, Paul Bonicelli, asked if our group had connected with our “counterparts” in the Israeli lobby so that they could “vet” our proposals — revealing that Scott has apparently outsourced his brain to Zionists — Hernandez remarked: “Formally? No. Informally.” He then turned to the rest of the ACS team in the meeting room and said: “You didn’t hear me say that.” That admission prompted Bonicelli to suggest that ACS directly coordinate with groups such as the Aramaic Church in Israel, which has supported regime change efforts in Damascus despite overwhelming Christian support of the government within Syria itself. As the meeting wound to a close, Bonicelli informed us that he agreed with ACS on the necessity to oppose Iran and Russia. “If Obama had done the right thing in 2012, we wouldn’t be here,” he lamented, adding: “the Israelis want you guys in charge.” At one point during the meeting in Rick Scott’s Office, Alberto Hernandez, and Sarah Salas, a Cuban American legislative aide, expressed full agreement with US use of unilateral sanctions as means to “push” governments that “we don’t like.” Starving Syrians Without A Mandate Though several ACS volunteers shared painful personal encounters with the Syrian government throughout the day, many were simply too far removed from Syria to truly represent the voice of Syrian people, especially the 12 million plus civilians currently living in Syrian government-controlled territory. One 24-year-old woman who did not speak Arabic and has not been to Syria since 2003 described the Syrian Army’s 2016 liberation of Aleppo from Al Qaeda-linked militants as “the fall of Aleppo.” Other Syrians like myself experienced the terror of the West’s proxy war in Syria firsthand. In 2012, my aunt and cousins watched in horror as the Turkish-backed Liwa’ Al Tawhid, an umbrella group of takfiri jihadist militias, arrived on their street in the Seryan El Jdideh neighborhood of Aleppo. The militants proceeded to execute a local pick-up truck driver and steal his vehicle, leaving his bleeding corpse on the street. Shahba, where my family lived up until 2015, was located just a stone’s throw away from these sectarian death squads during our final months there. The Syrian dirty war was bloody and gruesome, yet the picture that ACS paints is entirely one-sided. Unfortunately, while organizations like ACS have flocked to the Beltway swamp throughout the last 13 years, there are no Syrians present in Washington DC to counter them. While these groups claim to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, those of us who have lived and still live in areas controlled by Syrian government — regardless of our political affiliations—are rendered voiceless in the very center of power where our perspective should matter most. Even Syria’s embassy has been shuttered since 2014, while Syrian diplomats at the UN in New York are heavily monitored and restricted from traveling beyond the NYC metro area. As I witnessed on Capitol Hill, there are few obstacles to the anti-Syria lobby’s ruthless push to prevent the majority of Syrians from emerging from the ruins of war. https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/20/anti-syria-lobbys-capitol-hill-sanctions/
    THEGRAYZONE.COM
    Inside the anti-Syria lobby's Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions - The Grayzone
    A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission. On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. […]
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  • Full Movie Link: https://rb.gy/etdx6v
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    WWW.JEWISHVOICEFORLABOUR.ORG.UK
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    Graham Bash reviews this groundbreaking personal and political memoir by Avi Shlaim in which he laments the lost world of…
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  • Chimaeras and interspecies hybrids; the sinister agenda hiding behind covid
    Rhoda WilsonMarch 20, 2024
    There is something that has quietly slipped through the din of the murderously phoney episode called covid-19, Dr. Mathew Maavak writes. “If the covid-19 vaccines were ‘experimental gene therapies’, what other genetic experimentations continue unhindered out there?” he asks.

    In May 2020, Dr. Maavak wrote an article about how SARS-CoV-2 was not germinated in a vacuum. The Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted research with alarming global parallels including the pursuit of superintelligence and the development of chimaeras, or interspecies hybrids.

    What he wrote in May 2020 is still relevant today, he says. So yesterday, Dr. Maavak reposted his now four-year-old article.

    Let’s not lose touch…Your Government and Big Tech are actively trying to censor the information reported by The Exposé to serve their own needs. Subscribe now to make sure you receive the latest uncensored news in your inbox…

    Coronavirus in a Time of Chimaeras and Beyond

    By Dr. Mathew Maavak

    In May 2020, just as the coronavirus made hourly headlines, I had suspected that the virus was part of a much more sinister agenda. What I wrote back then remains just as relevant today. Here it is.

    Genetically-Enhanced Competitiveness

    The Sars-Cov-2 virus, which allegedly causes covid-19, was not germinated in a vacuum. The type of research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had ominous analogues worldwide. These included the quest for super intelligence and the development of interspecies hybrids or chimaeras.

    What began as a scientific mission to remedy congenital defects has rapidly morphed into a global race to create designer babies, super soldiers and transhumans through the aid of biotechnology, artificial intelligence and/or machine-neuralinking. 21st century eugenics is tacitly justified by the need to boost “national competitiveness.”

    China leads the way here. In one revealing episode, genome sequencing giant BGI Shenzhen had procured and sequenced the DNA of more than 2,000 people – mostly Americans – with IQ scores of at least 160. According to Stephen Hsu, a theoretical physicist from Michigan State University and scientific adviser to BGI:

    An exceptional person gets you an order of magnitude more statistical power than if you took random people from the population …

    BGI Shenzhen intends to become a “bio-Google” that will collate the “world’s biological information and make it universally accessible and useful.” From 2012 onwards, it began collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (“BMGF”). No surprises there.

    Scientific endeavours like these are based on the assumption that an assemblage of smart samples can help in the identification and transplantation of optimal bits of genetic material into future generations.

    Can a virus or vaccine perform this transplantation? Or will such agencies be used to cull the majority of the human population before a “genetic antidote” emerges to reverse their lethal effects? It will be too late for the vast majority of mankind by then. artificial selection, backed by artificial intelligence, may decide who gets this new booster. But is such a hypothetical scenario even realistic? There are too many imponderables here but viruses, nasal swabs and “vaccines” will surely deliver vital data for the “New Human Genome Project.”

    New Eugenics Zeitgeist

    The science of eugenics is not dissuaded by the nurture over nature debate, even after exhaustive studies had failed to establish genetic variants associated with intelligence. For example, a 2010 study led by Robert Plomin, a behavioural geneticist at King’s College London, had probed over 350,000 variations in single DNA letters across the genomes of 7,900 children but found no prized variant. Curiously, most of the smart samples procured by BGI Shenzhen were sourced from Plomin’s research activities.

    Periodic setbacks did not deter the proponents of “procreative beneficence” who argue that it is a human duty to augment the genetic codes of future generations. Failure to do so is couched in terms of “genetic neglect” and even child abuse. If this sounds eerily familiar, look no further than the worldview which once animated the Western world before the Nazis elevated it to a whole new level altogether.

    The eugenics zeitgeist has gripped China in a big way. Under its Maternal and Infant Health Care Law (1994), foetuses with potential hereditary diseases or deformities are recommended for abortion. At the rate Beijing is building its eugenics utopia, the definition of deformity may ultimately include a genetically pre-diagnosed average IQ.

    Instead of inciting public outrage, the law precipitated a headlong rush to select “intelligent” babies through methods like preimplantation genetic diagnosis (“PGD”). The idea behind PGD is to screen and identify the most promising embryos for implantation and birth. Combined with CRISPR gene-editing tools, next-generation Chinese citizens are expected to exhibit remarkably higher IQs – at least according to bioethicists who fret over a future marked by the “genetic haves” and “genetic have-nots.” China already has three CRISPR-edited babies whose current fate remains unknown.

    In the aftermath of the corona psychosis, the availability of “smart samples” would have increased exponentially and may dovetail nicely with the eugenics agenda of the Rockefeller Foundation and BMGF. Incidentally, Bill Gates grew up in a household that was heavily invested in population control and eugenics.

    Our smart societies may inevitably face the existential question of “live-lets” and “live-nots” down the line. The orchestrated rebellion towards selective extinction, if it occurs, has a tragicomical public face: An autistic Swede who parrots the “listen to the science” and “listen to the experts” mantra.

    How will future designer babies contribute to society? For one thing, we will be missing individuals like Beethoven (deaf); Albert Einstein (learning disability/late development); John Nash (schizophrenia); Andrea Boccelli (congenital glaucoma) and Vincent van Gogh (chronic depression/anxiety) and a host of others like them. A future Stephen Hawking (motor neurone disease) and Greta Thunberg (Asperger’s Syndrome – allegedly) will be genetically disqualified before birth.

    It is now inconvenient to consider intelligence as a result of peer interactions, human environment and ingenious reactions to adversity. (I personally define intelligence as an ability to nip the bullsh*t in its foetid bud).

    Mapping out the complex and sometimes unpredictable interplay between 100 trillion synaptic connections in a human brain may take centuries to accomplish but that does not deter the utopians of today.

    After all, genetic manipulation is the eugenic wormhole that promises to accelerate the emergence of a super society at warp speed. The late billionaire paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, was a prominent proponent of this philosophy. Epstein intended to breed a “super race of humans with his DNA by impregnating women at his New Mexico ranch, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence.” Welcome to Lebensborn 2.0!

    Prominent scientists linked to Epstein’s transhumanist fantasies included “molecular engineer George Church; Murray Gell-Mann, the discoverer of the quark; the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; the neurologist and author Oliver Sacks; and the theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek.” The late Stephen Hawking – who will ironically flunk the genetic pre-screenings of tomorrow – was another Epstein associate.

    Forget about Mars missions; major powers see eugenics as the next great frontier. Its hyper-materialistic focus is encapsulated by the following analogy from Russian scientist Denis Rebrikov:

    It currently costs about a million roubles (US$15,500 at that time) to genetically change an embryo – more than a lot of cars – but prices will fall with greater use … I can see the billboard now: “You Choose: a Hyundai Solaris or a Super-Child?”

    You are comparing a child, super or not, with a Hyundai? I mean a Hyundai, really? Sometimes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions but most of the time, it begins with a diabolically silly proposition.

    But why stop at children? From genetically engineered horses in Argentina that are supposedly faster, stronger and better jumpers to super-dogs in China that are comprehensively superior to the average mutt, the DNA of the entire natural world is being slated for a revolutionary redesign.

    Crouching Chimaeras, Hideous Hybrids

    The masters of our universe however cannot create future generations of superhumans without being adept at recombining genetic sequences across species. That is the logic guiding eugenicists. As a result, a slew of chimaeras or interspecies hybrids have been spawned with the aid of CRISPR technology. These include ghastly human-monkey hybrids, monkey-pig hybrids, human-rabbit hybrids and a host of other lab-manufactured monstrosities.

    Chimaeras are created when human embryonic stem cells are injected into embryos of other species. The goal, for the time being, is to induce growth of targeted human organs. Those facing terminal illnesses will no longer have to worry about long organ waiting lists. Chinese scientists have just transplanted a modified pig liver into a brain-dead human and it seems to have worked.

    A less controversial approach to human organ replacement is 3D bioprinting or its 4D bioprinting iteration. These techniques involve the “printing” of a replacement organ from the stem cells of a transplant recipient, thereby eliminating the odds of organ rejection.

    But why stop at replacement organs when we can have “replacement humans” altogether? Future generations must think like Einsteins, be as nimble as leopards and possess owl-like night visions. And, of course, be virus-resistant as well!

    The manipulation of the human genome is the new “grand response” to the venerable set of “grand challenges” for 2030 and beyond. China is the go-to place for such genetic tinkering as some of these undertakings are technically illegal in the West. And this is where the utility of covid-19 comes into the picture. It provides the perfect pretext to remove such ethical constraints. After all, “Disease X” is just waiting to escape from the belly of some bat or pangolin …

    Since 2014, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been the recipient of a two-stage grant worth $7.2 million from the United States government for gain-of-function research into bat coronaviruses. According to a Newsweek report in April 2020:

    Many scientists have criticised gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.

    Such caution has not deterred a flurry of research into microbial gene manipulation. The Wuhan experiments may have either spawned the Sars-Cov-2 virus or it may have provided a fraudulent context for future tyrannical mandates.

    But to solely blame China for the coronavirus “pandemic” is a tad unfair. Just as China is the factory of the world for foreign corporations, it is also the genetic incubator for a variety of viruses and chimaeras for foreign governments and foundations. Even so, the human-pig chimaera was the creation of the Salk Institute in California. Research into the world’s first human-mouse hybrid was largely a Japanese affair. The Portuguese in the meantime had created a virus chimaera.

    The United Kingdom, on their end, had spawned a human-cow hybrid embryo in 2008 – perhaps in keeping with the bovine disposition of those glued to the BBC. It was in Britain where the game-changing Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996.

    The transition from sheep to sheeple may turn out to be a short 21st century Jurassic Park ride.

    Coincidences and Consequences

    Before the advent of gene-editing tools and supercomputing, it would have been impossible to create a viable chimaera. The Biotech-Industrial Complex and contact tracing-type panopticons constitute a new growth area for Tech Titans that were once facing bankruptcy.

    The dangers of genome editing were in fact included in the Worldwide Threat Assessment reports submitted to the United States Congress in 2016 and 2017. These risks were either omitted or glossed over in the 2018 and 2019 reports – just as such risks gravitated to the high impact-high likelihood quadrant.

    Is it a coincidence that the nations most affected by covid-19 – at least during the first two years of its alleged spread – were the very ones that had either promoted or encouraged a variety of genetic experimentations that are contrary to nature? If – and that is a big “if” – these nations succeed in their quest for “designer babies” and “superhumans,” the rest of mankind will be rendered redundant. Some mass extermination event may transpire under the guise of World War III, food shortages, Disease X or a combination thereof.


    If everything goes according to plan, however, there will be 500 million potential specimens left for The Great Reset. The Third World, whose leaders are being monetarily incentivised to focus on unattainable Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), will be consigned to the ash heaps of history.

    It is quite ironic that a new generation of cerebrally deficient “thought leaders” and “experts” are being groomed to promote the demises of their societies and themselves.

    About the Author

    Mathew Maavak, with a PhD in Policy Studies, specialises in systems science, global risks, strategic foresight, geopolitics and governance. He is a Malaysian expert on risk foresight and governance.

    Dr. Maavak has published numerous op-eds on a variety of eclectic subjects for over 20 years – by ‘connecting the dots’ in a disjointed world. He is the author of a Substack page titled ‘The Eye Opener’ which you can subscribe to and follow HERE.



    https://expose-news.com/2024/03/20/chimaeras-and-interspecies-hybrids/
    Chimaeras and interspecies hybrids; the sinister agenda hiding behind covid Rhoda WilsonMarch 20, 2024 There is something that has quietly slipped through the din of the murderously phoney episode called covid-19, Dr. Mathew Maavak writes. “If the covid-19 vaccines were ‘experimental gene therapies’, what other genetic experimentations continue unhindered out there?” he asks. In May 2020, Dr. Maavak wrote an article about how SARS-CoV-2 was not germinated in a vacuum. The Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted research with alarming global parallels including the pursuit of superintelligence and the development of chimaeras, or interspecies hybrids. What he wrote in May 2020 is still relevant today, he says. So yesterday, Dr. Maavak reposted his now four-year-old article. Let’s not lose touch…Your Government and Big Tech are actively trying to censor the information reported by The Exposé to serve their own needs. Subscribe now to make sure you receive the latest uncensored news in your inbox… Coronavirus in a Time of Chimaeras and Beyond By Dr. Mathew Maavak In May 2020, just as the coronavirus made hourly headlines, I had suspected that the virus was part of a much more sinister agenda. What I wrote back then remains just as relevant today. Here it is. Genetically-Enhanced Competitiveness The Sars-Cov-2 virus, which allegedly causes covid-19, was not germinated in a vacuum. The type of research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had ominous analogues worldwide. These included the quest for super intelligence and the development of interspecies hybrids or chimaeras. What began as a scientific mission to remedy congenital defects has rapidly morphed into a global race to create designer babies, super soldiers and transhumans through the aid of biotechnology, artificial intelligence and/or machine-neuralinking. 21st century eugenics is tacitly justified by the need to boost “national competitiveness.” China leads the way here. In one revealing episode, genome sequencing giant BGI Shenzhen had procured and sequenced the DNA of more than 2,000 people – mostly Americans – with IQ scores of at least 160. According to Stephen Hsu, a theoretical physicist from Michigan State University and scientific adviser to BGI: An exceptional person gets you an order of magnitude more statistical power than if you took random people from the population … BGI Shenzhen intends to become a “bio-Google” that will collate the “world’s biological information and make it universally accessible and useful.” From 2012 onwards, it began collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (“BMGF”). No surprises there. Scientific endeavours like these are based on the assumption that an assemblage of smart samples can help in the identification and transplantation of optimal bits of genetic material into future generations. Can a virus or vaccine perform this transplantation? Or will such agencies be used to cull the majority of the human population before a “genetic antidote” emerges to reverse their lethal effects? It will be too late for the vast majority of mankind by then. artificial selection, backed by artificial intelligence, may decide who gets this new booster. But is such a hypothetical scenario even realistic? There are too many imponderables here but viruses, nasal swabs and “vaccines” will surely deliver vital data for the “New Human Genome Project.” New Eugenics Zeitgeist The science of eugenics is not dissuaded by the nurture over nature debate, even after exhaustive studies had failed to establish genetic variants associated with intelligence. For example, a 2010 study led by Robert Plomin, a behavioural geneticist at King’s College London, had probed over 350,000 variations in single DNA letters across the genomes of 7,900 children but found no prized variant. Curiously, most of the smart samples procured by BGI Shenzhen were sourced from Plomin’s research activities. Periodic setbacks did not deter the proponents of “procreative beneficence” who argue that it is a human duty to augment the genetic codes of future generations. Failure to do so is couched in terms of “genetic neglect” and even child abuse. If this sounds eerily familiar, look no further than the worldview which once animated the Western world before the Nazis elevated it to a whole new level altogether. The eugenics zeitgeist has gripped China in a big way. Under its Maternal and Infant Health Care Law (1994), foetuses with potential hereditary diseases or deformities are recommended for abortion. At the rate Beijing is building its eugenics utopia, the definition of deformity may ultimately include a genetically pre-diagnosed average IQ. Instead of inciting public outrage, the law precipitated a headlong rush to select “intelligent” babies through methods like preimplantation genetic diagnosis (“PGD”). The idea behind PGD is to screen and identify the most promising embryos for implantation and birth. Combined with CRISPR gene-editing tools, next-generation Chinese citizens are expected to exhibit remarkably higher IQs – at least according to bioethicists who fret over a future marked by the “genetic haves” and “genetic have-nots.” China already has three CRISPR-edited babies whose current fate remains unknown. In the aftermath of the corona psychosis, the availability of “smart samples” would have increased exponentially and may dovetail nicely with the eugenics agenda of the Rockefeller Foundation and BMGF. Incidentally, Bill Gates grew up in a household that was heavily invested in population control and eugenics. Our smart societies may inevitably face the existential question of “live-lets” and “live-nots” down the line. The orchestrated rebellion towards selective extinction, if it occurs, has a tragicomical public face: An autistic Swede who parrots the “listen to the science” and “listen to the experts” mantra. How will future designer babies contribute to society? For one thing, we will be missing individuals like Beethoven (deaf); Albert Einstein (learning disability/late development); John Nash (schizophrenia); Andrea Boccelli (congenital glaucoma) and Vincent van Gogh (chronic depression/anxiety) and a host of others like them. A future Stephen Hawking (motor neurone disease) and Greta Thunberg (Asperger’s Syndrome – allegedly) will be genetically disqualified before birth. It is now inconvenient to consider intelligence as a result of peer interactions, human environment and ingenious reactions to adversity. (I personally define intelligence as an ability to nip the bullsh*t in its foetid bud). Mapping out the complex and sometimes unpredictable interplay between 100 trillion synaptic connections in a human brain may take centuries to accomplish but that does not deter the utopians of today. After all, genetic manipulation is the eugenic wormhole that promises to accelerate the emergence of a super society at warp speed. The late billionaire paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, was a prominent proponent of this philosophy. Epstein intended to breed a “super race of humans with his DNA by impregnating women at his New Mexico ranch, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence.” Welcome to Lebensborn 2.0! Prominent scientists linked to Epstein’s transhumanist fantasies included “molecular engineer George Church; Murray Gell-Mann, the discoverer of the quark; the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; the neurologist and author Oliver Sacks; and the theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek.” The late Stephen Hawking – who will ironically flunk the genetic pre-screenings of tomorrow – was another Epstein associate. Forget about Mars missions; major powers see eugenics as the next great frontier. Its hyper-materialistic focus is encapsulated by the following analogy from Russian scientist Denis Rebrikov: It currently costs about a million roubles (US$15,500 at that time) to genetically change an embryo – more than a lot of cars – but prices will fall with greater use … I can see the billboard now: “You Choose: a Hyundai Solaris or a Super-Child?” You are comparing a child, super or not, with a Hyundai? I mean a Hyundai, really? Sometimes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions but most of the time, it begins with a diabolically silly proposition. But why stop at children? From genetically engineered horses in Argentina that are supposedly faster, stronger and better jumpers to super-dogs in China that are comprehensively superior to the average mutt, the DNA of the entire natural world is being slated for a revolutionary redesign. Crouching Chimaeras, Hideous Hybrids The masters of our universe however cannot create future generations of superhumans without being adept at recombining genetic sequences across species. That is the logic guiding eugenicists. As a result, a slew of chimaeras or interspecies hybrids have been spawned with the aid of CRISPR technology. These include ghastly human-monkey hybrids, monkey-pig hybrids, human-rabbit hybrids and a host of other lab-manufactured monstrosities. Chimaeras are created when human embryonic stem cells are injected into embryos of other species. The goal, for the time being, is to induce growth of targeted human organs. Those facing terminal illnesses will no longer have to worry about long organ waiting lists. Chinese scientists have just transplanted a modified pig liver into a brain-dead human and it seems to have worked. A less controversial approach to human organ replacement is 3D bioprinting or its 4D bioprinting iteration. These techniques involve the “printing” of a replacement organ from the stem cells of a transplant recipient, thereby eliminating the odds of organ rejection. But why stop at replacement organs when we can have “replacement humans” altogether? Future generations must think like Einsteins, be as nimble as leopards and possess owl-like night visions. And, of course, be virus-resistant as well! The manipulation of the human genome is the new “grand response” to the venerable set of “grand challenges” for 2030 and beyond. China is the go-to place for such genetic tinkering as some of these undertakings are technically illegal in the West. And this is where the utility of covid-19 comes into the picture. It provides the perfect pretext to remove such ethical constraints. After all, “Disease X” is just waiting to escape from the belly of some bat or pangolin … Since 2014, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been the recipient of a two-stage grant worth $7.2 million from the United States government for gain-of-function research into bat coronaviruses. According to a Newsweek report in April 2020: Many scientists have criticised gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release. Such caution has not deterred a flurry of research into microbial gene manipulation. The Wuhan experiments may have either spawned the Sars-Cov-2 virus or it may have provided a fraudulent context for future tyrannical mandates. But to solely blame China for the coronavirus “pandemic” is a tad unfair. Just as China is the factory of the world for foreign corporations, it is also the genetic incubator for a variety of viruses and chimaeras for foreign governments and foundations. Even so, the human-pig chimaera was the creation of the Salk Institute in California. Research into the world’s first human-mouse hybrid was largely a Japanese affair. The Portuguese in the meantime had created a virus chimaera. The United Kingdom, on their end, had spawned a human-cow hybrid embryo in 2008 – perhaps in keeping with the bovine disposition of those glued to the BBC. It was in Britain where the game-changing Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996. The transition from sheep to sheeple may turn out to be a short 21st century Jurassic Park ride. Coincidences and Consequences Before the advent of gene-editing tools and supercomputing, it would have been impossible to create a viable chimaera. The Biotech-Industrial Complex and contact tracing-type panopticons constitute a new growth area for Tech Titans that were once facing bankruptcy. The dangers of genome editing were in fact included in the Worldwide Threat Assessment reports submitted to the United States Congress in 2016 and 2017. These risks were either omitted or glossed over in the 2018 and 2019 reports – just as such risks gravitated to the high impact-high likelihood quadrant. Is it a coincidence that the nations most affected by covid-19 – at least during the first two years of its alleged spread – were the very ones that had either promoted or encouraged a variety of genetic experimentations that are contrary to nature? If – and that is a big “if” – these nations succeed in their quest for “designer babies” and “superhumans,” the rest of mankind will be rendered redundant. Some mass extermination event may transpire under the guise of World War III, food shortages, Disease X or a combination thereof. If everything goes according to plan, however, there will be 500 million potential specimens left for The Great Reset. The Third World, whose leaders are being monetarily incentivised to focus on unattainable Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), will be consigned to the ash heaps of history. It is quite ironic that a new generation of cerebrally deficient “thought leaders” and “experts” are being groomed to promote the demises of their societies and themselves. About the Author Mathew Maavak, with a PhD in Policy Studies, specialises in systems science, global risks, strategic foresight, geopolitics and governance. He is a Malaysian expert on risk foresight and governance. Dr. Maavak has published numerous op-eds on a variety of eclectic subjects for over 20 years – by ‘connecting the dots’ in a disjointed world. He is the author of a Substack page titled ‘The Eye Opener’ which you can subscribe to and follow HERE. https://expose-news.com/2024/03/20/chimaeras-and-interspecies-hybrids/
    EXPOSE-NEWS.COM
    Chimaeras and interspecies hybrids; the sinister agenda hiding behind covid
    There is something that has quietly slipped through the din of the murderously phoney episode called covid-19, Dr. Mathew Maavak writes. “If the covid-19 vaccines were ‘experimental gene therapies…
    1 Comentários 0 Compartilhamentos 10587 Visualizações
  • Lawsuit Claiming COVID-19 Jab Is a 'Biological Weapon' Docketed by Florida Supreme Court
    Writ of mandamus calls for halt in distribution of COVID vaccine "weapons of mass destruction."

    Jon Fleetwood

    In an extraordinary legal move, the Florida Supreme Court has accepted into its system a writ of mandamus that presents a grave portrayal of COVID-19 vaccines, characterizing them as “biological weapons” and “weapons of mass destruction.”

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    A ‘writ of mandamus’ is a court order compelling a party to perform a specific legal duty.

    The petitioner, Joseph Sansone (MS, PhD), brings the action with serious accusations regarding the vaccines’ safety, efficacy, and legality.

    The case was docketed on Monday under the case number SC2024-0327.

    Dr. Sansone’s petition pulls no punches, declaring that “COVID-19 injections have caused countless deaths, permanent injury, and disability.”

    He demands immediate action, stating that “the COVID-19 injections are dangerous” and that it is therefore “the duty of the Governor and Attorney General to act immediately to prohibit their distribution.”

    The urgency of the matter is underscored as Sansone argues it “is incumbent on this Court to compel the Governor and Attorney General to act immediately.”

    A critical aspect of the petition revolves around the scrutiny of the mainstream public health campaign concerning coronavirus jabs.

    According to the writ, “A massive mass media and government campaign promoting ‘COVID-19 vaccines’ as safe and effective ‘vaccines’ to prevent infection targeted Florida’s population of approximately 22 million people. This campaign narrative was false and misleading and has led to numerous deaths, permanent injury, and disability.”

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    Sansone’s claim extends to the foundation of the vaccine’s approval process through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    “It is well-established that the FDA clinical trials for the COVID-19 injections were not designed to clinically or statistically demonstrate that the COVID-19 nanoparticle injections prevent infection, prevent transmission, or protect against disease, hospitalizations, and death,” he states.

    The foundation of Sansone’s argument hinges on the belief that these shots, due to “shedding,” whereby components of the vaccine are shed from the vaccinated onto the unvaccinated, “pose a risk of harm, including death and disability, to all Floridians whether ‘vaccinated’ or ‘unvaccinated.’”

    He goes further, saying, “Every Floridian, including members of this Court, and likely the Respondents, were lied to—COVID-19 injections are not safe, nor are they effective.”

    Also central to the writ’s claim is the assertion that “COVID-19 injections containing engineered mRNA nanoparticle technologies meet the legal definition of biological weapons” and “meet the exact criteria of weapons of mass destruction.”

    “The facts of this case evidenced above demonstrate nanotechnology present in the COVID-19 injections which do qualify as a device designed and intended to cause harm, as does the use of such technology, and or a biological agent, resulting in death or harm. Repeatedly distributing a biological agent or device causing harm in mass, especially after it is well known to cause harm, qualifies it as a weapon of mass destruction and a biological weapon.”

    The legal statutes cited in the petition are broad and encompassing, aiming to leverage “Biological Weapons 18 USC § 175; Weapons and Firearms § 790.166 Fla. Stat. (2023); Federal Crime of Treason 18 USC § 2381; Treason § 876.32 Fla. Stat. (2023); Domestic Terrorism, 18 USC § 2331, Terrorism § 775.30 Fla. Stat. (2023); Murder § 782.04 (1)(a) Fla. Stat. (2023); and Genocide 18 USC §1091.”

    Through these laws, Sansone seeks an order to “immediately prohibit the distribution, promotion, access and administration of COVID-19 injections, mRNA nanoparticle injections, and all mRNA products in the State of Florida.”

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    This stance is supported by resolutions from “approximately 10 Florida Republican County Political Parties,” calling for a ban on the injections and analysis of their contents.

    Dr. Francis Boyle, a key figure in the drafting of the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, is cited as endorsing the resolution, adding significant weight to Sansone’s arguments.

    Sansone’s argument crescendos as he suggests that the stakes involve “the future existence of the human race itself.”

    He firmly believes he has a “clear legal right to the requested relief,” positioning his request not just as a legal challenge but as a plea to “protect the public from biological and technological weapons of mass destruction and remove them from the market.”

    Citing the fact that, “Since February 21, 2023, approximately 10 Florida Republican County Political Parties, representing millions of people, have passed resolutions declaring Covid 19 injections and mRNA injections biological and technological weapons,” the writ paints a dire picture of the possible threat posed by COVID jabs.

    Sansone identifies himself as a victim, stating he “has been targeted with biological and technological weapons of mass destruction,” and expresses his advocacy not only for his rights but for “the millions of Floridians that have been targeted, including friends and family members.”

    The petition also makes clear its aim of “not demanding the prosecution of individuals.”

    Rather, the mandamus “simply seeks to compel the Governor and Attorney General to enforce the law and protect the public from biological and technological weapons of mass destruction and remove them from the market.”

    This legal challenge marks a pivotal moment, thrusting the Florida Supreme Court into the center of a highly charged debate over public health, vaccine safety, and the legal categorization of these interventions.

    As the court prepares to deliberate on this unprecedented case, the outcome could set a significant legal and ethical precedent concerning the response to pandemics and the regulation of vaccines.

    You can read the full lawsuit here:

    Share Jon Fleetwood


    Follow Jon Fleetwood on Instagram @realjonfleetwood / Twitter @JonMFleetwood


    https://telegra.ph/Lawsuit-Claiming-COVID-19-Jab-Is-a-Biological-Weapon-Docketed-by-Florida-Supreme-Court-03-11


    🔴 Lawsuit Claiming COVID-19 Jab Is a 'Biological Weapon' Docketed by Florida Supreme Court

    In an extraordinary legal move, the Florida Supreme Court has accepted a writ of mandamus that characterizes Covid-19 vaccines as “biological weapons” and “weapons of mass destruction.”

    A ‘writ of mandamus’ is a court order compelling a party to perform a specific legal duty. The petitioner, Joseph Sansone (MS, PhD), brings the action with serious accusations regarding the vaccines’ safety, efficacy, and legality.

    The case was docketed on Monday under the case number SC2024-0327.
    Dr. Sansone’s petition pulls no punches, declaring that “COVID-19 injections have caused countless deaths, permanent injury, and disability.”

    He demands immediate action, stating that “the COVID-19 injections are dangerous” and that it is therefore “the duty of the Governor and Attorney General to act immediately to prohibit their distribution.”

    https://jonfleetwood.substack.com/p/lawsuit-claiming-covid-19-jab-is
    Lawsuit Claiming COVID-19 Jab Is a 'Biological Weapon' Docketed by Florida Supreme Court Writ of mandamus calls for halt in distribution of COVID vaccine "weapons of mass destruction." Jon Fleetwood In an extraordinary legal move, the Florida Supreme Court has accepted into its system a writ of mandamus that presents a grave portrayal of COVID-19 vaccines, characterizing them as “biological weapons” and “weapons of mass destruction.” Share Jon Fleetwood Follow Jon Fleetwood on Instagram @realjonfleetwood / Twitter @JonMFleetwood A ‘writ of mandamus’ is a court order compelling a party to perform a specific legal duty. The petitioner, Joseph Sansone (MS, PhD), brings the action with serious accusations regarding the vaccines’ safety, efficacy, and legality. The case was docketed on Monday under the case number SC2024-0327. Dr. Sansone’s petition pulls no punches, declaring that “COVID-19 injections have caused countless deaths, permanent injury, and disability.” He demands immediate action, stating that “the COVID-19 injections are dangerous” and that it is therefore “the duty of the Governor and Attorney General to act immediately to prohibit their distribution.” The urgency of the matter is underscored as Sansone argues it “is incumbent on this Court to compel the Governor and Attorney General to act immediately.” A critical aspect of the petition revolves around the scrutiny of the mainstream public health campaign concerning coronavirus jabs. According to the writ, “A massive mass media and government campaign promoting ‘COVID-19 vaccines’ as safe and effective ‘vaccines’ to prevent infection targeted Florida’s population of approximately 22 million people. This campaign narrative was false and misleading and has led to numerous deaths, permanent injury, and disability.” Share Jon Fleetwood Follow Jon Fleetwood on Instagram @realjonfleetwood / Twitter @JonMFleetwood Sansone’s claim extends to the foundation of the vaccine’s approval process through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “It is well-established that the FDA clinical trials for the COVID-19 injections were not designed to clinically or statistically demonstrate that the COVID-19 nanoparticle injections prevent infection, prevent transmission, or protect against disease, hospitalizations, and death,” he states. The foundation of Sansone’s argument hinges on the belief that these shots, due to “shedding,” whereby components of the vaccine are shed from the vaccinated onto the unvaccinated, “pose a risk of harm, including death and disability, to all Floridians whether ‘vaccinated’ or ‘unvaccinated.’” He goes further, saying, “Every Floridian, including members of this Court, and likely the Respondents, were lied to—COVID-19 injections are not safe, nor are they effective.” Also central to the writ’s claim is the assertion that “COVID-19 injections containing engineered mRNA nanoparticle technologies meet the legal definition of biological weapons” and “meet the exact criteria of weapons of mass destruction.” “The facts of this case evidenced above demonstrate nanotechnology present in the COVID-19 injections which do qualify as a device designed and intended to cause harm, as does the use of such technology, and or a biological agent, resulting in death or harm. Repeatedly distributing a biological agent or device causing harm in mass, especially after it is well known to cause harm, qualifies it as a weapon of mass destruction and a biological weapon.” The legal statutes cited in the petition are broad and encompassing, aiming to leverage “Biological Weapons 18 USC § 175; Weapons and Firearms § 790.166 Fla. Stat. (2023); Federal Crime of Treason 18 USC § 2381; Treason § 876.32 Fla. Stat. (2023); Domestic Terrorism, 18 USC § 2331, Terrorism § 775.30 Fla. Stat. (2023); Murder § 782.04 (1)(a) Fla. Stat. (2023); and Genocide 18 USC §1091.” Through these laws, Sansone seeks an order to “immediately prohibit the distribution, promotion, access and administration of COVID-19 injections, mRNA nanoparticle injections, and all mRNA products in the State of Florida.” Share Jon Fleetwood Follow Jon Fleetwood on Instagram @realjonfleetwood / Twitter @JonMFleetwood This stance is supported by resolutions from “approximately 10 Florida Republican County Political Parties,” calling for a ban on the injections and analysis of their contents. Dr. Francis Boyle, a key figure in the drafting of the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, is cited as endorsing the resolution, adding significant weight to Sansone’s arguments. Sansone’s argument crescendos as he suggests that the stakes involve “the future existence of the human race itself.” He firmly believes he has a “clear legal right to the requested relief,” positioning his request not just as a legal challenge but as a plea to “protect the public from biological and technological weapons of mass destruction and remove them from the market.” Citing the fact that, “Since February 21, 2023, approximately 10 Florida Republican County Political Parties, representing millions of people, have passed resolutions declaring Covid 19 injections and mRNA injections biological and technological weapons,” the writ paints a dire picture of the possible threat posed by COVID jabs. Sansone identifies himself as a victim, stating he “has been targeted with biological and technological weapons of mass destruction,” and expresses his advocacy not only for his rights but for “the millions of Floridians that have been targeted, including friends and family members.” The petition also makes clear its aim of “not demanding the prosecution of individuals.” Rather, the mandamus “simply seeks to compel the Governor and Attorney General to enforce the law and protect the public from biological and technological weapons of mass destruction and remove them from the market.” This legal challenge marks a pivotal moment, thrusting the Florida Supreme Court into the center of a highly charged debate over public health, vaccine safety, and the legal categorization of these interventions. As the court prepares to deliberate on this unprecedented case, the outcome could set a significant legal and ethical precedent concerning the response to pandemics and the regulation of vaccines. You can read the full lawsuit here: Share Jon Fleetwood Follow Jon Fleetwood on Instagram @realjonfleetwood / Twitter @JonMFleetwood https://telegra.ph/Lawsuit-Claiming-COVID-19-Jab-Is-a-Biological-Weapon-Docketed-by-Florida-Supreme-Court-03-11 🔴 Lawsuit Claiming COVID-19 Jab Is a 'Biological Weapon' Docketed by Florida Supreme Court In an extraordinary legal move, the Florida Supreme Court has accepted a writ of mandamus that characterizes Covid-19 vaccines as “biological weapons” and “weapons of mass destruction.” A ‘writ of mandamus’ is a court order compelling a party to perform a specific legal duty. The petitioner, Joseph Sansone (MS, PhD), brings the action with serious accusations regarding the vaccines’ safety, efficacy, and legality. The case was docketed on Monday under the case number SC2024-0327. Dr. Sansone’s petition pulls no punches, declaring that “COVID-19 injections have caused countless deaths, permanent injury, and disability.” He demands immediate action, stating that “the COVID-19 injections are dangerous” and that it is therefore “the duty of the Governor and Attorney General to act immediately to prohibit their distribution.” https://jonfleetwood.substack.com/p/lawsuit-claiming-covid-19-jab-is
    JONFLEETWOOD.SUBSTACK.COM
    Lawsuit Claiming COVID-19 Jab Is a 'Biological Weapon' Docketed by Florida Supreme Court
    Writ of mandamus calls for halt in distribution of COVID vaccine "weapons of mass destruction."
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  • How To Perform Solat Terawih - Step by Step Guide
    Terawih is a beautiful and rewarding prayer that is only offered during the month of Ramadan. By learning how to pray Terawih, you strengthen your connection with Allah and contribute to the spirit of unity and devotion in the community. Don't miss this opportunity to gain blessings and make the most of Ramadan.

    Muslim.Sg is a one-stop online media platform that aims to inspire and empower millennial Muslims with powerful and engaging Islamic religious content.

    2024-03-08 • 14 min read

    How To Pray Terawih - Step-by-Step Guide

    How to Pray Taraweeh step by step for Muslim

    Praise be to Allah.

    One of the acts of worship that we all look forward to during Ramadan is the terawih prayer. The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said:

    مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيْمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

    “Whoever stands (in worship) in Ramadan out of faith and hope for the rewards (from Allah), his past sins will be forgiven.”

    (Sahih Al-Bukhārī & Muslim)

    The terawih prayer will begin right after the congregational Isyak prayer. Dedicated spaces for Muslimah will also be made available at most mosques.

    Read: 5 Things You Need to Know About Terawih Prayer.

    Want to refresh your memory on how to perform the terawih prayer? Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow!

    1. Establish the intention to perform terawih

    how to taraweeh at home

    Recite the intention for terawih prayer:

    أُصَلِّي سُنَّةَ التَراوِيحِ رَكعَتَينِ لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى

    Usolli sunnata-taraawiihi rak'ataini lillah ta'ala

    I intend to pray the Sunnah prayer of terawih two raka'at for Allah ta'ala

    If you pray in a congregation, the intentions for terawih prayer are as follows. The one who is leading the prayer as an Imam would recite:

    أُصَلِّي سُنَّةَ التَراوِيحِ رَكعَتَينِ إِمَامًا لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى

    Usolli sunnata-taraawiihi rak'ataini imaamam lillah ta'ala

    I intend to pray the Sunnah prayer of terawih as the Imam two raka'at for Allah ta'ala

    The Makmum (follower) will recite this intention:

    أُصَلِّي سُنَّةَ التَراوِيحِ رَكعَتَينِ مَأمُومًا لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى

    Usolli sunnata-taraawiihi rak'ataini makmumam lillah ta'ala

    I intend to pray the Sunnah prayer of terawih as the Makmum two raka'at for Allah ta'ala

    The following illustrations will guide us in praying Jema’ah (in a congregation) at home:

    Guidelines for congregational prayer for Muslims at home

    Read: Guidelines for praying in a congregation.

    2. Say the Takbiratul Ihram

    how to taraweeh at home

    Takbiratul Ihram is the act of entering the state of prayer. It is done by raising your hands such that your thumbs are on the same level as your earlobes and your palms are on the same level as your shoulder.

    Say ‘Allahu Akbar’ while keeping your intention in mind.

    3. Place your right hand over your left hand and recite Dua Iftitah

    Stand in prayer (for the able men and women). Upon giving the Takbir, lower your hands gently over your chest and put your right hand over your left.

    Recite the Dua Iftitah (opening dua) quietly only for the first raka’at:

    اللهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ كَثِيْرًا وَسُبْحَانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيْلًا .وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِيْ فَطَرَالسَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ حَنِيْفًا مُسْلِمًا وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِيْنَ . إِنَّ صَلَاتِيْ وَنُسُكِيْ وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِيْ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ

    ______

    Allāhu Akbar Kabirā,
    Walhamdulillāhi Kathīrā
    Wa Subhānallāhi Bukratan Wa aṣīlā
    Wajjahtu Wajhiya lillazi Fatras-Samāwāti wal-Ardh
    Hanīfan Musliman Wa-mā ana minal-musyrikīn
    Inna ṣalātī, wa-nusukī wa-mahyaya, wamamātī Lillāhi Rabbil-'ālamīn
    Lā syarīka laHu wa bizālika umirtu wa ana minal muslimīn

    ______

    Allah the Almighty, the Greatest
    All praises be upon Him
    Allah The Most Exalted, day and night
    I stand before The One Who created the skies and the lands
    I sincerely submit to Allah and I am certainly not among those who associate Allah with other beings
    Indeed my Solat, my good deeds, my life and my death are all for Allah The Lord of all the worlds
    He has no partner nor parallel whatsoever, and I have been ordered as such, and I am from those who embrace Islam (submits).

    how to taraweeh at home

    4. Recite Surah Al-Fatihah and another Surah from the Quran

    Once the Dua Iftitah is read, recite the Ta’awwudz (seeking Allah's refuge from the devil) quietly:

    أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

    A'uzu biLlāhi minash-shaytānir-rajim

    I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan

    And then read Surah Al-Fatihah:

    بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ. الحَمدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ العالَمينَ
    الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ. مالِكِ يَومِ الدّينِ
    إِيّاكَ نَعبُدُ وَإِيّاكَ نَستَعينُ
    اهدِنَا الصِّراطَ المُستَقيمَ
    صِراطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِم غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِم وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

    ______

    Bismillāhir-Raḥmānir-Raḥīm
    Alḥamdulillāhi Rabbil-ʿālamīn
    Ar-Raḥmānir-Raḥīm
    Māliki yawmid-dīn
    iyyāKa naʿbudu wa-iyyāKa nastaʿīn
    Ihdināṣ-ṣirāṭal-mustaqīm
    ṣirāṭallazīna anʿamta ʿalayhim ghayril-maghḍūbi ʿalayhim wa-lāḍḍāllīn

    ______

    In the name of God The Most Compassionate and Merciful
    Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds
    The Compassionate, The Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning
    You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help
    Guide us along the straight path
    the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace
    not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray
    Amiin

    Upon completing the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, you may read any memorised surah of your preference. For the second raka’at, it is encouraged to choose a verse that does not precede the first in the order of the Quran.

    For example, you can read Surah Al-’Asr in the first raka’at and read Surah Al-Ikhlas in the second.

    Here is a list of recommended surahs from page 34 of Contemporary Irsyad Series - Ramadan edition (English) by Office of the Mufti:

    Recommended surah in terawih prayer

    While there is no harm in reading the same surah again for the next raka’at, this Ramadan could be an opportunity to learn other beautiful surah and further increase our appreciation of the Quran, especially since there are so many benefits of reciting the Quran.

    You may also opt to read from the Mushaf (physical copy of Quran), maybe a pocket Quran or Quran app.

    5. Bend forward for Ruku’

    Recite the Takbiratul Intiqal (Allahu Akbar) during the transition from standing to bending for Ruku’, while raising your hands just as previously explained in Takbiratul Ihram. Lower your hands gently to your knees as you move towards the Ruku’ position.

    Say three times,

    سُبحَانَ رَبِّيَ العَظِيمِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ

    Subhanna Rabbiyal-’azim wa bihamdiHi

    Glory be to Allah, the Mighty, and praise be to He

    how to pray taraweeh

    6. Stand in the upright position - I’tidal

    After completing your Ruku’, return to the standing position while raising your hands just as in the Takbiratul Ihram position and recite during the transition:

    سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ

    Sami’ Allahu liman hamida

    Allah has heard the one who praised Him

    Lower your hands gently. When you are in the complete upright position, recite:

    رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ

    Rabbana walaKal-hamd

    O Our Lord, to You are all the praises

    7. Perform the first sujud

    Go into prostration while saying the Takbiratul Intiqal (Allahu Akbar) without raising your hands. Let your knees touch the ground first, followed by your palms and then your forehead. While in the first Sujud, say three times:

    سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى وَبِحَمْدِهِ

    Subhānna Rabbiyal-a’lā wa bihamdih

    Glory be to my Lord The Most High, and praise be to He

    8. Sit on your knees

    In between the two Sujud, rise from prostration to a sitting position on your knees while saying the Takbiratul Intiqal without raising your hands. In the sitting position, say :

    رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِيْ وَارْحَمْنِيْ وَاجْبُرْنِيْ وَارْفَعْنِيْ وَارْزُقْنِيْ وَاهْدِنِيْ وَعَافِنِيْ وَاعْفُ عَنِّيْ

    Rabbighfirlī warhamnī wajburnī warfa’nī warzuqnī wahdinī wa‘afinī wa’fu ‘annī

    O Lord, forgive me, have mercy on me, cover for me my shortcomings, elevate my rank, provide for me, guide me, grant me well-being, and pardon me

    9. Perform the second sujud

    Afterwards, return to the prostration position to complete the second Sujud and repeat the recitation as mentioned previously. Upon fulfilling the mentioned integrals (arkān), we have completed the first raka’at.

    10. Return to the standing position

    Return to the standing position as you recite the Takbiratul Intiqal and repeat the steps from 4 to 9 again to fulfil the second raka’at.

    11. Recite the final Tasyahhud

    At the end of your 2nd raka'at, sit on your left leg while the left foot is placed and briefly exposed below your right leg. Keep your right foot upright just as in the picture shown above. Complete the prayer by reciting the final Tasyahhud;

    اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ الْمُبَارَكَاتُ الصَّلَوَاتُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ِللهِ. اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ. اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللهِ الصَّالِحِيْنَ

    “At-tahiyyātul mubārakatuṣ-ṣalawātuth ṭayyibātu lillāh. Assalāmu ‘alaika ayyuhan-nabiyyu wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu. Assalāmu ‘alainā wa ‘alā ‘ibādillāhiṣ-ṣālihīn.

    Raise your right index finger. And say:

    أَشْهدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُوْلُ اللهِ

    Asyhadu an lā ilāha illallāh, wa asyhadu anna Muhammadar Rasuulullāh

    Continue with the selawat:

    اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ علَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ

    Allahumma ṣalli 'ala Muhammadin, wa 'alā āli Muhammad, kamā ṣallaita 'ala 'āli Ibrāhīma, innaka Hamīdun Majīd. Allahumma bārik 'alā Muhammadin, wa 'alā āli Muhammad, kamā bārakta 'alā āli Ibrāhīma, innaka Hamīdun Majīd

    O Allah, bestow your blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you bestowed your blessings upon the family of Ibrahim. Indeed You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You have blessed the family of Ibrahim. Indeed You are Praised and Glorious

    12. End with the salam

    Turn your head to both of your sides, starting from the right, such that your cheek can be seen by anyone behind you, and say

    السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُم وَرَحْمَةُ الله

    Assalamu alaykum wa-rahmatullah

    Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you

    By giving the salam, we have therefore completed one set of terawih prayer.

    Each terawih prayer consists of two raka’at. If you intend to pray 8 raka'at of terawih prayer, do 4 sets of 2 raka'at. If you intend to do 20 raka'at of terawih prayer, do 10 sets of terawih Prayer.

    Read: How to Pray in Islam: Step-By-Step Guide to Solat for Beginners

    13. Do the witr prayer

    how to taraweeh at home

    After completing the terawih prayer, it is encouraged to end the night with the witr prayer. Witr can also be performed after completing Qiyam al-Layl which refers to other supererogatory (sunnah) prayers that are done towards the end of the night or after waking up from sleep. This was mentioned by the Prophet s.a.w.:

    “Make the last of your prayers at night the witr prayer."

    (Sahih Bukhari)

    Witr prayer should be performed in an odd number of raka'at and is usually done in 3 raka'at. This is done by performing two raka’at of the same steps mentioned with the salam, and then followed by one raka’at with the salam to complete the three raka’at of the Witr prayer. The maximum number of raka’at for the sunnah witr prayer is 11 raka’at.

    14. Read recommended zikir and supplications

    how to taraweeh at home

    There are supplications that are often read in mosques after every terawih prayer. However, if you do not read them, it does not invalidate the prayer. Nonetheless, reciting them is definitely encouraged. (Read Page 36 of Contemporary Irsyad Series - Ramadan edition)

    What is important for us is to make full use of this blessed time and position to sincerely supplicate to Allah s.w.t. and express our love, hope, fear, regret, heart and soul to The One Who Hears, is Kind and Most Merciful to His servants.

    However, it is understandable that we sometimes find it hard to think of what to dua. For the supplications that are often read after terawih and witr prayers, you may refer to this list of beautiful duas for Ramadan.

    May this step-by-step guide on how to perform the terawih prayer benefit us. May this Ramadan be a more meaningful one, and may Allah s.w.t. accept our humble deeds. Ameen.

    Allah knows best.

    There are many benefits of praying in a congregation. To get your terawih questions answered, Ustaz Irwan Hadi, together with Ms Marina Yusoff and her family, share how you can do your terawih prayer at home:



    https://muslim.sg/articles/how-to-perform-solat-terawih-step-by-step-guide

    https://telegra.ph/How-To-Perform-Solat-Terawih---Step-by-Step-Guide-03-11
    How To Perform Solat Terawih - Step by Step Guide Terawih is a beautiful and rewarding prayer that is only offered during the month of Ramadan. By learning how to pray Terawih, you strengthen your connection with Allah and contribute to the spirit of unity and devotion in the community. Don't miss this opportunity to gain blessings and make the most of Ramadan. Muslim.Sg is a one-stop online media platform that aims to inspire and empower millennial Muslims with powerful and engaging Islamic religious content. 2024-03-08 • 14 min read How To Pray Terawih - Step-by-Step Guide How to Pray Taraweeh step by step for Muslim Praise be to Allah. One of the acts of worship that we all look forward to during Ramadan is the terawih prayer. The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said: مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيْمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ “Whoever stands (in worship) in Ramadan out of faith and hope for the rewards (from Allah), his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Al-Bukhārī & Muslim) The terawih prayer will begin right after the congregational Isyak prayer. Dedicated spaces for Muslimah will also be made available at most mosques. Read: 5 Things You Need to Know About Terawih Prayer. Want to refresh your memory on how to perform the terawih prayer? Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow! 1. Establish the intention to perform terawih how to taraweeh at home Recite the intention for terawih prayer: أُصَلِّي سُنَّةَ التَراوِيحِ رَكعَتَينِ لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى Usolli sunnata-taraawiihi rak'ataini lillah ta'ala I intend to pray the Sunnah prayer of terawih two raka'at for Allah ta'ala If you pray in a congregation, the intentions for terawih prayer are as follows. The one who is leading the prayer as an Imam would recite: أُصَلِّي سُنَّةَ التَراوِيحِ رَكعَتَينِ إِمَامًا لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى Usolli sunnata-taraawiihi rak'ataini imaamam lillah ta'ala I intend to pray the Sunnah prayer of terawih as the Imam two raka'at for Allah ta'ala The Makmum (follower) will recite this intention: أُصَلِّي سُنَّةَ التَراوِيحِ رَكعَتَينِ مَأمُومًا لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى Usolli sunnata-taraawiihi rak'ataini makmumam lillah ta'ala I intend to pray the Sunnah prayer of terawih as the Makmum two raka'at for Allah ta'ala The following illustrations will guide us in praying Jema’ah (in a congregation) at home: Guidelines for congregational prayer for Muslims at home Read: Guidelines for praying in a congregation. 2. Say the Takbiratul Ihram how to taraweeh at home Takbiratul Ihram is the act of entering the state of prayer. It is done by raising your hands such that your thumbs are on the same level as your earlobes and your palms are on the same level as your shoulder. Say ‘Allahu Akbar’ while keeping your intention in mind. 3. Place your right hand over your left hand and recite Dua Iftitah Stand in prayer (for the able men and women). Upon giving the Takbir, lower your hands gently over your chest and put your right hand over your left. Recite the Dua Iftitah (opening dua) quietly only for the first raka’at: اللهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ كَثِيْرًا وَسُبْحَانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيْلًا .وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِيْ فَطَرَالسَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ حَنِيْفًا مُسْلِمًا وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِيْنَ . إِنَّ صَلَاتِيْ وَنُسُكِيْ وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِيْ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ ______ Allāhu Akbar Kabirā, Walhamdulillāhi Kathīrā Wa Subhānallāhi Bukratan Wa aṣīlā Wajjahtu Wajhiya lillazi Fatras-Samāwāti wal-Ardh Hanīfan Musliman Wa-mā ana minal-musyrikīn Inna ṣalātī, wa-nusukī wa-mahyaya, wamamātī Lillāhi Rabbil-'ālamīn Lā syarīka laHu wa bizālika umirtu wa ana minal muslimīn ______ Allah the Almighty, the Greatest All praises be upon Him Allah The Most Exalted, day and night I stand before The One Who created the skies and the lands I sincerely submit to Allah and I am certainly not among those who associate Allah with other beings Indeed my Solat, my good deeds, my life and my death are all for Allah The Lord of all the worlds He has no partner nor parallel whatsoever, and I have been ordered as such, and I am from those who embrace Islam (submits). how to taraweeh at home 4. Recite Surah Al-Fatihah and another Surah from the Quran Once the Dua Iftitah is read, recite the Ta’awwudz (seeking Allah's refuge from the devil) quietly: أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ A'uzu biLlāhi minash-shaytānir-rajim I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan And then read Surah Al-Fatihah: بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ. الحَمدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ العالَمينَ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ. مالِكِ يَومِ الدّينِ إِيّاكَ نَعبُدُ وَإِيّاكَ نَستَعينُ اهدِنَا الصِّراطَ المُستَقيمَ صِراطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِم غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِم وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ ______ Bismillāhir-Raḥmānir-Raḥīm Alḥamdulillāhi Rabbil-ʿālamīn Ar-Raḥmānir-Raḥīm Māliki yawmid-dīn iyyāKa naʿbudu wa-iyyāKa nastaʿīn Ihdināṣ-ṣirāṭal-mustaqīm ṣirāṭallazīna anʿamta ʿalayhim ghayril-maghḍūbi ʿalayhim wa-lāḍḍāllīn ______ In the name of God The Most Compassionate and Merciful Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds The Compassionate, The Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help Guide us along the straight path the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray Amiin Upon completing the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, you may read any memorised surah of your preference. For the second raka’at, it is encouraged to choose a verse that does not precede the first in the order of the Quran. For example, you can read Surah Al-’Asr in the first raka’at and read Surah Al-Ikhlas in the second. Here is a list of recommended surahs from page 34 of Contemporary Irsyad Series - Ramadan edition (English) by Office of the Mufti: Recommended surah in terawih prayer While there is no harm in reading the same surah again for the next raka’at, this Ramadan could be an opportunity to learn other beautiful surah and further increase our appreciation of the Quran, especially since there are so many benefits of reciting the Quran. You may also opt to read from the Mushaf (physical copy of Quran), maybe a pocket Quran or Quran app. 5. Bend forward for Ruku’ Recite the Takbiratul Intiqal (Allahu Akbar) during the transition from standing to bending for Ruku’, while raising your hands just as previously explained in Takbiratul Ihram. Lower your hands gently to your knees as you move towards the Ruku’ position. Say three times, سُبحَانَ رَبِّيَ العَظِيمِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ Subhanna Rabbiyal-’azim wa bihamdiHi Glory be to Allah, the Mighty, and praise be to He how to pray taraweeh 6. Stand in the upright position - I’tidal After completing your Ruku’, return to the standing position while raising your hands just as in the Takbiratul Ihram position and recite during the transition: سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ Sami’ Allahu liman hamida Allah has heard the one who praised Him Lower your hands gently. When you are in the complete upright position, recite: رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ Rabbana walaKal-hamd O Our Lord, to You are all the praises 7. Perform the first sujud Go into prostration while saying the Takbiratul Intiqal (Allahu Akbar) without raising your hands. Let your knees touch the ground first, followed by your palms and then your forehead. While in the first Sujud, say three times: سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى وَبِحَمْدِهِ Subhānna Rabbiyal-a’lā wa bihamdih Glory be to my Lord The Most High, and praise be to He 8. Sit on your knees In between the two Sujud, rise from prostration to a sitting position on your knees while saying the Takbiratul Intiqal without raising your hands. In the sitting position, say : رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِيْ وَارْحَمْنِيْ وَاجْبُرْنِيْ وَارْفَعْنِيْ وَارْزُقْنِيْ وَاهْدِنِيْ وَعَافِنِيْ وَاعْفُ عَنِّيْ Rabbighfirlī warhamnī wajburnī warfa’nī warzuqnī wahdinī wa‘afinī wa’fu ‘annī O Lord, forgive me, have mercy on me, cover for me my shortcomings, elevate my rank, provide for me, guide me, grant me well-being, and pardon me 9. Perform the second sujud Afterwards, return to the prostration position to complete the second Sujud and repeat the recitation as mentioned previously. Upon fulfilling the mentioned integrals (arkān), we have completed the first raka’at. 10. Return to the standing position Return to the standing position as you recite the Takbiratul Intiqal and repeat the steps from 4 to 9 again to fulfil the second raka’at. 11. Recite the final Tasyahhud At the end of your 2nd raka'at, sit on your left leg while the left foot is placed and briefly exposed below your right leg. Keep your right foot upright just as in the picture shown above. Complete the prayer by reciting the final Tasyahhud; اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ الْمُبَارَكَاتُ الصَّلَوَاتُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ِللهِ. اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ. اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللهِ الصَّالِحِيْنَ “At-tahiyyātul mubārakatuṣ-ṣalawātuth ṭayyibātu lillāh. Assalāmu ‘alaika ayyuhan-nabiyyu wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu. Assalāmu ‘alainā wa ‘alā ‘ibādillāhiṣ-ṣālihīn. Raise your right index finger. And say: أَشْهدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُوْلُ اللهِ Asyhadu an lā ilāha illallāh, wa asyhadu anna Muhammadar Rasuulullāh Continue with the selawat: اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ علَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ Allahumma ṣalli 'ala Muhammadin, wa 'alā āli Muhammad, kamā ṣallaita 'ala 'āli Ibrāhīma, innaka Hamīdun Majīd. Allahumma bārik 'alā Muhammadin, wa 'alā āli Muhammad, kamā bārakta 'alā āli Ibrāhīma, innaka Hamīdun Majīd O Allah, bestow your blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you bestowed your blessings upon the family of Ibrahim. Indeed You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You have blessed the family of Ibrahim. Indeed You are Praised and Glorious 12. End with the salam Turn your head to both of your sides, starting from the right, such that your cheek can be seen by anyone behind you, and say السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُم وَرَحْمَةُ الله Assalamu alaykum wa-rahmatullah Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you By giving the salam, we have therefore completed one set of terawih prayer. Each terawih prayer consists of two raka’at. If you intend to pray 8 raka'at of terawih prayer, do 4 sets of 2 raka'at. If you intend to do 20 raka'at of terawih prayer, do 10 sets of terawih Prayer. Read: How to Pray in Islam: Step-By-Step Guide to Solat for Beginners 13. Do the witr prayer how to taraweeh at home After completing the terawih prayer, it is encouraged to end the night with the witr prayer. Witr can also be performed after completing Qiyam al-Layl which refers to other supererogatory (sunnah) prayers that are done towards the end of the night or after waking up from sleep. This was mentioned by the Prophet s.a.w.: “Make the last of your prayers at night the witr prayer." (Sahih Bukhari) Witr prayer should be performed in an odd number of raka'at and is usually done in 3 raka'at. This is done by performing two raka’at of the same steps mentioned with the salam, and then followed by one raka’at with the salam to complete the three raka’at of the Witr prayer. The maximum number of raka’at for the sunnah witr prayer is 11 raka’at. 14. Read recommended zikir and supplications how to taraweeh at home There are supplications that are often read in mosques after every terawih prayer. However, if you do not read them, it does not invalidate the prayer. Nonetheless, reciting them is definitely encouraged. (Read Page 36 of Contemporary Irsyad Series - Ramadan edition) What is important for us is to make full use of this blessed time and position to sincerely supplicate to Allah s.w.t. and express our love, hope, fear, regret, heart and soul to The One Who Hears, is Kind and Most Merciful to His servants. However, it is understandable that we sometimes find it hard to think of what to dua. For the supplications that are often read after terawih and witr prayers, you may refer to this list of beautiful duas for Ramadan. May this step-by-step guide on how to perform the terawih prayer benefit us. May this Ramadan be a more meaningful one, and may Allah s.w.t. accept our humble deeds. Ameen. Allah knows best. There are many benefits of praying in a congregation. To get your terawih questions answered, Ustaz Irwan Hadi, together with Ms Marina Yusoff and her family, share how you can do your terawih prayer at home: https://muslim.sg/articles/how-to-perform-solat-terawih-step-by-step-guide https://telegra.ph/How-To-Perform-Solat-Terawih---Step-by-Step-Guide-03-11
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  • BIDEN ADMIN DEPLOYED AIR FORCE TEAM TO ISRAEL TO ASSIST WITH TARGETS, DOCUMENT SUGGESTS


    Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team to Israel to Assist With Targets, Document Suggests
    Ken Klippenstein, Matthew Petti
    January 11 2024, 3:33 p.m.
    A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on January 11, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
    Targeting intelligence — the information used to conduct airstrikes and fire long-range artillery weapons — has played a central role in Israel’s siege of Gaza. A document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act suggests that the U.S. Air Force sent officers specializing in this exact form of intelligence to Israel in late November.

    Since the start of Israel’s bombardment in retaliation for Hamas’s strike on October 7, Israel has dropped more than 29,000 bombs on the tiny Gaza Strip, according to a U.S. intelligence report last month. And for the first time in U.S. history, the Biden administration has been flying surveillance drone missions over Gaza since at least early November, ostensibly for hostage recovery by special forces. At the time the drones were revealed, U.S. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted that the special operations forces deployed to Israel to advise on hostage rescue were “not participating in [Israel Defense Forces] target development.”

    “I’ve directed my team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise the Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts,” said President Joe Biden three days after the Hamas attack.

    But several weeks later, on November 21, the U.S. Air Force issued deployment guidelines for officers, including intelligence engagement officers, headed to Israel. Experts say that a team of targeting officers like this would be used to provide satellite intelligence to the Israelis for the purpose of offensive targeting.

    “They’re probably targeting people, targeting officers,” Lawrence Cline, who served as an intelligence engagement officer in Iraq before retirement, told The Intercept. Targeting intelligence refers to the identification and characterization of enemy activities including missile and artillery launches, location of leadership and command and control centers, and key facilities. “What I can see is we’ve got a lot of global assets in terms of satellites and the like and the Israelis have a lot in terms of more localized radar coverage.”

    The deployment guidelines were issued by the Pentagon’s Air Force component command for the Middle East, Air Forces Central, on November 21. The document provides deployment instructions to air personnel sent to the country, including an “Air Defense Liaison Team” as well as “airmen assigned as the Intelligence Engagement Officer (IEO).”

    Intelligence engagement officers, Cline explained, coordinate intelligence between the U.S. and partner militaries. When deployed in Iraq, Cline, who now works as an instructor for the Defense Department Counterterrorism Fellowship Program, recalled that he and other IEOs comprised a small team who spent “probably three quarters of our time working with the Iraqis, the other quarter checking in with headquarters,” adding that “it was sort of half and half a liaison and advising.”

    Asked about the airmen’s mission, the Defense Intelligence Agency referred questions to the Air Forces Central, which did not respond to a request for comment. Neither the Office of the Secretary of Defense nor Central Command responded to requests for comment.

    Most Read

    The intelligence engagement process provides a low-profile mechanism through which the U.S. can coordinate with the Israeli military, a valuable tool amid the political sensitivity of the conflict.

    A U.S. Army primer defines intelligence engagement as a “powerful” tool that is useful “especially when U.S. policy might restrict our interaction,” as it “often does not require large budgets or footprints.” Experts say that may be the case here.

    Tyler McBrien, managing editor of Lawfare, a website specializing in national security law, said that there seems to be an “Israel exception” to the U.S. rules around military assistance.

    Past presidents have issued several executive orders banning the U.S. government from carrying out or sponsoring assassinations abroad. This ban has been interpreted to include wartime targeting of civilians, according to a recent Foreign Affairs article by Brian Finucane, a former legal adviser for the State Department who now works for Crisis Group.

    And the so-called Leahy law, a set of budget amendments named for Sen. Patrick Leahy, requires the U.S. government to vet foreign military units for “gross violations of human rights” when providing training or aid to those units. Several progressive members of Congress have raised concerns that U.S. aid to Israel — both before and during the present war — violates that requirement.

    “For air advisory missions, which I imagine involve intelligence sharing and training, specific domestic legal restrictions such as the Leahy law and the assassination ban would likely come into play,” McBrien said. But the Leahy vetting process is “reversed” for Israel; rather than vetting Israeli military units beforehand, the U.S. State Department sends aid and then waits for reports of violations, according to a recent article by Josh Paul, who resigned from his post as a State Department political-military officer over his concerns with U.S. support for Israel.

    “As a general matter, U.S. officials who are providing support to another country during armed conflict would want to make sure they are not aiding and abetting war crimes,” Finucane told The Intercept. He emphasized that the same principle applies to weapons transfers and intelligence sharing.

    The Israeli military intentionally strikes Palestinian civilian infrastructure, known as “power targets,” in order to “create a shock,” according to an investigation by the Israeli news website +972 Magazine. Targets are generated using an artificial intelligence system known as “Habsora,” Hebrew for “gospel.”

    “Nothing happens by accident,” an Israeli military intelligence source told +972 Magazine. “When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.”

    The Biden administration has gone to great lengths to conceal the nature of its support for the Israeli military. The Pentagon quietly tapped a so-called Tiger Team to facilitate weapons assistance to Israel, as The Intercept has previously reported. The administration has also declined to reveal which weapons systems it’s providing Israel and at which quantities, insisting that the secrecy is necessary for security reasons.

    “We’re being careful not to quantify or get into too much detail about what they’re getting — for their own operational security purposes, of course,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters during a press briefing in October.

    This contrasts with its support for Ukraine, about which it has been far more transparent. The administration has provided an itemized list of its weapons assistance to Ukraine, a country facing at least as much of a threat amid the invasion of Russia. The White House has never addressed the incongruity. Past administrations have also provided detailed public information about U.S. targeting support for the Saudi and Emirati military campaigns in Yemen, which U.S. officials claim was meant to reduce civilian casualties.

    The secrecy “may reflect the fact that the U.S. has interests that are in tension, the Biden administration has interests that are in tension,” Finucane said. “On the one hand, they want to publicly embrace Israel and support Israel, providing what seems to be unconditional support. On the other hand, they don’t want to be perceived as taking the country into another war in the Middle East.”

    https://theintercept.com/2024/01/11/israel-air-force-targeting-intelligence/
    BIDEN ADMIN DEPLOYED AIR FORCE TEAM TO ISRAEL TO ASSIST WITH TARGETS, DOCUMENT SUGGESTS Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team to Israel to Assist With Targets, Document Suggests Ken Klippenstein, Matthew Petti January 11 2024, 3:33 p.m. A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on January 11, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images) Targeting intelligence — the information used to conduct airstrikes and fire long-range artillery weapons — has played a central role in Israel’s siege of Gaza. A document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act suggests that the U.S. Air Force sent officers specializing in this exact form of intelligence to Israel in late November. Since the start of Israel’s bombardment in retaliation for Hamas’s strike on October 7, Israel has dropped more than 29,000 bombs on the tiny Gaza Strip, according to a U.S. intelligence report last month. And for the first time in U.S. history, the Biden administration has been flying surveillance drone missions over Gaza since at least early November, ostensibly for hostage recovery by special forces. At the time the drones were revealed, U.S. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted that the special operations forces deployed to Israel to advise on hostage rescue were “not participating in [Israel Defense Forces] target development.” “I’ve directed my team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise the Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts,” said President Joe Biden three days after the Hamas attack. But several weeks later, on November 21, the U.S. Air Force issued deployment guidelines for officers, including intelligence engagement officers, headed to Israel. Experts say that a team of targeting officers like this would be used to provide satellite intelligence to the Israelis for the purpose of offensive targeting. “They’re probably targeting people, targeting officers,” Lawrence Cline, who served as an intelligence engagement officer in Iraq before retirement, told The Intercept. Targeting intelligence refers to the identification and characterization of enemy activities including missile and artillery launches, location of leadership and command and control centers, and key facilities. “What I can see is we’ve got a lot of global assets in terms of satellites and the like and the Israelis have a lot in terms of more localized radar coverage.” The deployment guidelines were issued by the Pentagon’s Air Force component command for the Middle East, Air Forces Central, on November 21. The document provides deployment instructions to air personnel sent to the country, including an “Air Defense Liaison Team” as well as “airmen assigned as the Intelligence Engagement Officer (IEO).” Intelligence engagement officers, Cline explained, coordinate intelligence between the U.S. and partner militaries. When deployed in Iraq, Cline, who now works as an instructor for the Defense Department Counterterrorism Fellowship Program, recalled that he and other IEOs comprised a small team who spent “probably three quarters of our time working with the Iraqis, the other quarter checking in with headquarters,” adding that “it was sort of half and half a liaison and advising.” Asked about the airmen’s mission, the Defense Intelligence Agency referred questions to the Air Forces Central, which did not respond to a request for comment. Neither the Office of the Secretary of Defense nor Central Command responded to requests for comment. Most Read The intelligence engagement process provides a low-profile mechanism through which the U.S. can coordinate with the Israeli military, a valuable tool amid the political sensitivity of the conflict. A U.S. Army primer defines intelligence engagement as a “powerful” tool that is useful “especially when U.S. policy might restrict our interaction,” as it “often does not require large budgets or footprints.” Experts say that may be the case here. Tyler McBrien, managing editor of Lawfare, a website specializing in national security law, said that there seems to be an “Israel exception” to the U.S. rules around military assistance. Past presidents have issued several executive orders banning the U.S. government from carrying out or sponsoring assassinations abroad. This ban has been interpreted to include wartime targeting of civilians, according to a recent Foreign Affairs article by Brian Finucane, a former legal adviser for the State Department who now works for Crisis Group. And the so-called Leahy law, a set of budget amendments named for Sen. Patrick Leahy, requires the U.S. government to vet foreign military units for “gross violations of human rights” when providing training or aid to those units. Several progressive members of Congress have raised concerns that U.S. aid to Israel — both before and during the present war — violates that requirement. “For air advisory missions, which I imagine involve intelligence sharing and training, specific domestic legal restrictions such as the Leahy law and the assassination ban would likely come into play,” McBrien said. But the Leahy vetting process is “reversed” for Israel; rather than vetting Israeli military units beforehand, the U.S. State Department sends aid and then waits for reports of violations, according to a recent article by Josh Paul, who resigned from his post as a State Department political-military officer over his concerns with U.S. support for Israel. “As a general matter, U.S. officials who are providing support to another country during armed conflict would want to make sure they are not aiding and abetting war crimes,” Finucane told The Intercept. He emphasized that the same principle applies to weapons transfers and intelligence sharing. The Israeli military intentionally strikes Palestinian civilian infrastructure, known as “power targets,” in order to “create a shock,” according to an investigation by the Israeli news website +972 Magazine. Targets are generated using an artificial intelligence system known as “Habsora,” Hebrew for “gospel.” “Nothing happens by accident,” an Israeli military intelligence source told +972 Magazine. “When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.” The Biden administration has gone to great lengths to conceal the nature of its support for the Israeli military. The Pentagon quietly tapped a so-called Tiger Team to facilitate weapons assistance to Israel, as The Intercept has previously reported. The administration has also declined to reveal which weapons systems it’s providing Israel and at which quantities, insisting that the secrecy is necessary for security reasons. “We’re being careful not to quantify or get into too much detail about what they’re getting — for their own operational security purposes, of course,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters during a press briefing in October. This contrasts with its support for Ukraine, about which it has been far more transparent. The administration has provided an itemized list of its weapons assistance to Ukraine, a country facing at least as much of a threat amid the invasion of Russia. The White House has never addressed the incongruity. Past administrations have also provided detailed public information about U.S. targeting support for the Saudi and Emirati military campaigns in Yemen, which U.S. officials claim was meant to reduce civilian casualties. The secrecy “may reflect the fact that the U.S. has interests that are in tension, the Biden administration has interests that are in tension,” Finucane said. “On the one hand, they want to publicly embrace Israel and support Israel, providing what seems to be unconditional support. On the other hand, they don’t want to be perceived as taking the country into another war in the Middle East.” https://theintercept.com/2024/01/11/israel-air-force-targeting-intelligence/
    THEINTERCEPT.COM
    Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team to Israel to Assist With Targets, Document Suggests
    Guidance issued for intelligence officers in Israel appears to show the U.S. military providing intelligence for airstrikes in Gaza.
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  • Here i have 3 videos and 1 pictures.

    I wana explain it with simple logic & facts.

    1-The first video is for a Women that stand with Zionists Genocide & endorsing it denying all the #Massacres & mass murdering by Jews & Zionists during 76 years if occupation. While playing the victims.

    2 - the second is a Documentary film that interviewed with Israeli soldiers who was doing the massacres since 1997 to maybe the 1990s.
    They Confession of killing everyone including children in the Palestine villages & executed them.
    And raping the women & men & even young girls & boys under 16 years old.

    3-the third video for Israeli channel 12, this video debunk all the Israel lies & propaganda about 7 of October,

    They are some Jews against Zionists in Israel that has been tortured & fired from work & abused , maybe this reporter one of them

    4- the pictures count every massacre that occurred during 76 years that was discovered and reported, and there are dozens that have not yet been discovered.
    It's only the top of the iceberg.

    Finally, we are all watch the live Massacres & genocide in Gaza against innocent civilians including children.
    This #genocide is ongoing despite of the Technology today that capture & document it ,

    What happened in the past while there was no Technology to report it or filming it.

    I will leave it to your imagination.
    #GenocideByIsrael
    #RafahMassacre #faminOfGaza #EndIsraelGenocide #StarvingGaza


    The Israeli media exposes Israeli state propaganda.





    https://x.com/3bdallhalordni/status/1758431025347137578?s=20
    Here i have 3 videos and 1 pictures. I wana explain it with simple logic & facts. 1-The first video is for a Women that stand with Zionists Genocide & endorsing it denying all the #Massacres & mass murdering by Jews & Zionists during 76 years if occupation. While playing the victims. 2 - the second is a Documentary film that interviewed with Israeli soldiers who was doing the massacres since 1997 to maybe the 1990s. They Confession of killing everyone including children in the Palestine villages & executed them. And raping the women & men & even young girls & boys under 16 years old. 3-the third video for Israeli channel 12, this video debunk all the Israel lies & propaganda about 7 of October, They are some Jews against Zionists in Israel that has been tortured & fired from work & abused , maybe this reporter one of them 4- the pictures count every massacre that occurred during 76 years that was discovered and reported, and there are dozens that have not yet been discovered. It's only the top of the iceberg. Finally, we are all watch the live Massacres & genocide in Gaza against innocent civilians including children. This #genocide is ongoing despite of the Technology today that capture & document it , What happened in the past while there was no Technology to report it or filming it. I will leave it to your imagination. #GenocideByIsrael #RafahMassacre #faminOfGaza #EndIsraelGenocide #StarvingGaza The Israeli media exposes Israeli state propaganda. https://x.com/3bdallhalordni/status/1758431025347137578?s=20
    Like
    1
    0 Comentários 0 Compartilhamentos 6087 Visualizações
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