zaterdag 18 mei 2019

U.S. Trying To Rule Over Europe

Kiev Joins US In Trying To Stop Nord Stream II

Naftogas complaint to EC has clear US earmark

Nord Stream II in progress
 0 1,776
Ukrainian state company lodges complaint with EU Commission
The Ukrainian state-owned energy company Naftogaz has lodged a complaint with the European Commission against Nord Stream II. The pipeline is “anti-competitive.” The reasoning goes that Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, which controls the project, is aiming to dominate the European gas market.
According to Naftogaz, the planned gas connection is a “predatory investment” [eine „räuberische Investition“!] aimed at preventing the import of US LNG into the EU.
The EU Commission will examine the complaint and, if necessary, initiate a competition procedure, according to a spokeswoman for the authority.
As there is no way that LNG from the US can be competitive, we have to wonder whether the complaint was written in Kiev, or in Washington. On the same subject, we read in Der Spiegel:
The statement of the grounds for the complaint stated that no economic justification can be identified for the construction of the pipeline, therefore “their purpose can only be anticompetitive,” Naftogaz explained. The Russian gas giant Gazprom, which controls the project, is aiming for a dominant position in the European gas market.
Nord Stream II is to transport gas from Russia to Germany. The project is particularly controversial in Eastern Europe, is rejected by a majority of MEPs, and has encountered, fierce resistance, especially from the US.
The management is by Gazprom, but European energy companies such as the BASF subsidiary Wintershall are also participating in the financing. According to information from Nord Stream, the construction work is almost half completed: more than 1100 kilometers of pipeline, which is supposed to run over a distance of 1230 kilometers, have been laid in the Baltic Sea
Naftogaz described the pipeline as a “predatory investment” aimed, for example, at preventing increased imports of LNG into the EU.
Just last week, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry campaigned in Brussels for the purchase of more US LNG, insisting the US is a more reliable partner for energy than Russia. However, world market prices for LNG are higher than those for Russian pipeline gas.
Nord Stream II also aims to circumvent the Ukrainian gas transport network, complained Naftogaz. “The Gazprom Group is a geopolitical and geo-economic instrument of the Russian Federation,” in order to make Europe dependent on energy policy and harm Ukraine, the company warned.
The EU Commission has acknowledged receipt of the Ukrainian complaint. The EC will now investigate the matter “as soon as possible” and if necessary initiate a competition procedure, said a spokeswoman for the Brussels authority.

European Song Festival 2

In 15 years, Israel forced 3,000 Palestinians from their Jerusalem homes

In 15 years, Israel forced 3,000 Palestinians from their Jerusalem homes
A Palestinian man digs through the rubble of his East Jerusalem home
Israel’s refusal to issue building permits, and calculated policies of expropriation, force Palestinians to build “illegally,” often resulting structures being demolished and families left destitute; meanwhile, Jewish-only neighborhoods spring up on Palestinian land.
reposted from Ma’an News Agency
Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem revealed that Israeli authorities forced around 3,000 Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem between 2004 and 2019.
B’Tselem published a report, stating, “The Jerusalem Municipality demolished 830 residential units, and 120 more were demolished by their owners on the municipality’s orders.”B’Tselem stressed, “The municipality deliberately left 2,927 people homeless, 1,574 of them minors.”The report points out that the Israeli-run municipality adopts policies which have deliberately created an acute construction crisis for the city’s Palestinian population, while Jewish neighborhoods enjoy massive development and substantial funding.
B’Tselem explained, “Israel has expropriated more than a third of the land it annexed from the West Bank and has built 11 neighborhoods exclusively for Jews.”
The report noted that these neighborhoods are as “illegal under international law as Israel’s settlements are in the occupied West Bank.”

Fabricated pretexts

Israeli authorities use a number of strategies to block Palestinian use of the land, thus according to the report, the authorities either declare Palestinian-owned land as “open scenic areas,” where development is forbidden, or as national parks, where construction and urban development are almost entirely forbidden.
In other parts of the occupied Palestinian territories, large areas, including towns and villages, are declared to be “military zones” almost as a matter of routine, and residents have to leave their homes for set periods when the army moves in.
B’Tselem said that Palestinians in East Jerusalem “have no choice” but to build without permits since the Israeli municipality rarely grants the right to build homes.
Israeli authorities estimate that between 15,000 and 20,000 Palestinian-owned homes have been built or extended without planning permission in the past five years.
B’Tselem stated,
Thousands of Palestinians in the city are living under constant threat to their homes and businesses; in many cases, the authorities follow through on this threat or force residents to demolish the structures themselves.
Israel does not see the residents of East Jerusalem [the Palestinians] as human beings with equal rights, but as people it strives to remove from their homes, as they are an obstacle to Judaizing the city.
The human rights organization stressed that the measures adopted by Israel to achieve that end are all illegal:
[The authorities are] deliberately denying Palestinians construction permits for residential and other purposes, issuing demolition orders for structures built without a permit for lack of choice, and demolishing dozens of such structures a year.
Israel has implemented this policy, designed to clear parts of the city of Palestinians, since occupying the West Bank and annexing East Jerusalem and the surrounding villages in 1967. 

European Song Festival

One million face hunger in Gaza after Israel’s 12-year blockade

One million face hunger in Gaza after Israel’s 12-year blockade
Girls in Gaza, May 5, 2019. (Photo by Fadi Abdallah Thabet)
reposted from UK Guardian
More than a million people in Gaza risk going hungry next month unless international donors fill a $60m (£46m) funding black hole largely created by cuts to Palestinian refugee aid by the Trump administration, a UN agency has said.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides food for more than 1 million people in the Gaza strip, is calling on the EU, Gulf states and large emerging economies such as Russia and China to make “firm commitments” of $60m by the middle of June to prevent hunger.
“We are in a critical situation in terms of our food delivery work,” said Matthias Schmale, the director of the UNRWA’s operations in Gaza. “We have over a million people receiving quarterly food handouts and many of these people would not really survive without that every quarter.”
Speaking in Brussels before meeting European officials, Schmale said “the most immediate reason” for the funding gap was the loss of US support. [Also because of Israel’s blockades on Gaza, and its periodic assaults that destroy Palestinian infrastructure.]
The US announced in 2018 it was cutting all funding to the UNRWA, an abrupt loss from the agency’s hitherto largest donor, which provided $360m in 2017.
Schmale said it would have been “a different story” if the US had gradually reduced funds, although still “unfortunate and sad”. But the disappearance of funds from one day to the next caused havoc, forcing UNRWA to make deep cuts to health and employment programmes in the Gaza Strip.
The agency slashed its mental health budget by 50% in the second half of 2018, which reduced the availability of counselling for children in the war-torn region. It also cut a programme that creates short-term work for people in Gaza, a lifeline in an economy where the unemployment rate is 53%. In 2018, 10,139 people benefited from short-term work, down 48% on the previous year.
The EU has become the biggest donor to the UNRWA, with additional cash coming from most member states – Germany, the UK and Sweden made the largest contributions in 2018. But Schmale did not see the bloc playing a significant role in forging peace in the region, although he did praise the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.
He said: “What I hear a lot in Gaza is that the US, because of its perceived erratic behaviour, is no longer seen as a credible intermediary. The EU has perceived political capital [but] the EU member states are too preoccupied with themselves, so it is probably unrealistic to expect the EU to play a role.”
The UNRWA, created in 1949 to provide short-term relief for Palestinian refugees after the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, runs schools, hospitals and social services in five areas including the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
It is largely propping up Gaza, subject to a total blockade by air, land and sea since 2007. Political stalemate, conflict with Israel and divisions among Palestinian factions have left the territory an economic ruin, without health and social services and with almost no access to clean water and only four or five hours of electricity a day.
With no peace in sight, a generation is growing up in Gaza who have only known the fenced-in territory and never met an Israeli [except for Israeli soldiers, who have frequently invaded the area].
“It is a race against time,” Schmale said, suggesting that without hope children risked turning to extremism. “Despite their experience, the children – the majority by the internet – are connected to the rest of the world [and] they dream of the future, but … we cannot take this for granted. If the blockade continues, this will change, which is why I understand, the Palestinian parents, they are worried about their children.”
[Trump policies are often driven by his major donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.]
Mother, daughter, cat, cooking
Photo by Gaza photographer Fadi Abdallah Thabet. August 25, 2018 · 



The United States has spent nearly $6 trillion on wars that directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 people since the 9/11 attacks of 2001.
Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs published its annual "Costs of War" report Wednesday, taking into consideration the Pentagon's spending and its Overseas Contingency Operations account, as well as "war-related spending by the Department of State, past and obligated spending for war veterans’ care, interest on the debt incurred to pay for the wars, and the prevention of and response to terrorism by the Department of Homeland Security."
The final count revealed, "The United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $5.9 trillion (in current dollars) on the war on terror through Fiscal Year 2019, including direct war and war-related spending and obligations for future spending on post 9/11 war veterans."
"In sum, high costs in war and war-related spending pose a national security concern because they are unsustainable," the report concluded. "The public would be better served by increased transparency and by the development of a comprehensive strategy to end the wars and deal with other urgent national security priorities."
4863570U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response-Central Command fire 120-millimeter mortars in support of coalition efforts to defeat the Islamic State militant group at an undisclosed location in Syria, on September 10. CORPORAL GABINO PEREZ/U.S. MARINE CORPS/DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
The U.S. embarked on a global war on terror following the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 and were orchestrated by Islamist militant group Al-Qaeda. Weeks later, the U.S. led an invasion of Afghanistan, which at the time was controlled by Al-Qaeda ally the Taliban. In March 2003, Washington overthrew Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, accusing him of developing weapons of mass destruction and harboring U.S.-designated terrorist organizations.
Despite initial quick victories there, the U.S. military has been plagued by ongoing insurgencies these two countries and expanded counterterrorism operations across the region, including Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. In 2014, the U.S. gathered an international coalition to face the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), which arose out of a post-invasion Sunni Muslim insurgency in Iraq and spread to neighboring Syria and beyond.
Wednesday's report found that the "US military is conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries, or about 39 percent of the world's nations, vastly expanding [its mission] across the globe." In addition, these operations "have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the US and abroad."
Overall, researchers estimated that "between 480,000 and 507,000 people have been killed in the United States’ post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan." This toll "does not include the more than 500,000 deaths from the war in Syria, raging since 2011" when a West-backed rebel and jihadi uprising challenged the government, an ally of Russia and Iran. That same year, the U.S.-led NATO Western military alliance intervened in Libya and helped insurgents overthrowlongtime leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, leaving the nation in an ongoing state of civil war.
20181115_cost_war_terror_newsweek_720A chart details the financial and human cost of the "War on Terror" since the deadly events of September 11, 2001. The toll of deaths may be much higher and is also compounded by hundreds of thousands killed by the side effects of such conflicts. WATSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS/BROWN UNIVERSITY/STATISTA/NEWSWEEK 
The combined human cost for the U.S. throughout its actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan was 6,951 troops, 21 civilians and 7,820 contractors.
"While we often know how many US soldiers die, most other numbers are to a degree uncertain. Indeed, we may never know the total direct death toll in these wars. For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have died in retaking Mosul and other cities from ISIS but their bodies have likely not been recovered," the report noted.

Zionist Fascism

Israeli prof: Israel tests weapons on Palestinian kids, tests drugs on prisoners

Israeli prof: Israel tests weapons on Palestinian kids, tests drugs on prisoners

Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian lectures at Columbia University, Dec. 5, 2016.

Israeli occupation authorities have permitted large pharmaceutical firms to experiment on Palestinian prisoners, and have been testing weapons on Palestinian children, a Hebrew University professor disclosed in a recent lecture series. 

by Kathryn Shihadah
An Israeli professor disclosed in a recent lecture series at Columbia University that Israeli authorities have permitted large pharmaceutical firms to experiment on Palestinian prisoners, and have been testing weapons on Palestinian children.
Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, the Lawrence D. Biele Chair in Law at Israel’s Hebrew University, also presented in Amsterdam in January on the same topic.
Promotional material for the events describe her lecture as illustrating through “the voices and writings of Jerusalemite children who live under Occupation” that Israel’s practices of “surveying, imprisoning, torturing, and killing can be used as a laboratory for states, arms companies, and security agencies to market their technologies as ‘combat proven.’”
Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s presentation was based on data she gathered for a research project for the university. The work, titled Arrested Childhood in Spaces of Indifference: The Criminalized Children of Occupied East Jerusalem, was published in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law in 2018 and co-authored by Shahrazad Odeh, who is also on the Faculty of Law and Institute of Criminology at Hebrew University.
In the article, the authors demonstrate how Israel’s policy of targeting Palestinian children and childhood through the criminal justice system is fundamental to the state’s mechanism of colonial dispossession. They shed light on the critical role that the Israeli legal system plays in the state’s “racist project.”

Drug experiments on Palestinian prisoners

Shalhoub-Kevorkian revealed in her lecture at Columbia University that Israeli occupation authorities issue permits to large pharmaceutical firms, which then carry out tests on Palestinian prisoners.
Telesur recalls that as far back as July 1997,
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported remarks for Dalia Itzik, chairman of a parliamentary committee, acknowledged that the Israeli Ministry of Health had given pharmaceutical firms permits to test their new drugs of inmates, noting that 5,000 tests had already been carried out.
The recent, well-publicized incident of the death of an Israeli prison inmate, Palestinian Fares Baroud, raised suspicions that he may have been a test subject. Israeli authorities refused to relinquish the body. Baroud suffered from a number of illnesses.

Weapons testing for profit

Shalhoub-Kevorkian also pointed out that Israeli military firms test weapons on Palestinian children in the Palestinian neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem.
“Palestinian spaces are laboratories,” she explained. “The invention of products and services of state-sponsored security corporations are fueled by long-term curfews and Palestinian oppression by the Israeli army,” and “Israeli security industry [is] using them as showcases” to boost security technologies and weapon sales in the global market.

Hebrew University response

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem distanced itself from Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s claims, releasing a statement,
The views expressed by Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian don’t represent or express in any way the views of the Hebrew University or the university administration, but are her personal opinion that reflect only her views.

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian is the Lawrence D. Biele Chair in Law at the Faculty of Law-Institute of Criminology and the School of Social Work and Public Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Global Chair in Law at Queen Mary University of London. Her research focuses on law, society, and crimes of abuse of power.  She studies the crime of femicide and other forms of gendered violence, crimes of abuse of power in settler colonial contexts, surveillance, securitization and social control, and children, trauma, and recovery in militarized and colonized zones. Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is a criminologist and specialist in human rights and women’s rights.

ISRAEL. BURNING CHILDREN ALIVE Syrian Girl  @Partisangirl Israel burning children alive in refugee tent in Rafah. Thi...