Joyous News From Palestine 568

Please do read the full text of Security Council Resolution 2334, passed yesterday:

The Security Council,
Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,

Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines,

Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,

Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons,

Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,
Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground,

1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
4. Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution;

5. Calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;

6. Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism;

7. Calls upon both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and their previous agreements and obligations, to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-State solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace;

8. Calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010;

9. Urges in this regard the intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967; and underscores in this regard the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative, the initiative of France for the convening of an international peace conference, the recent efforts of the Quartet, as well as the efforts of Egypt and the Russian Federation;

10. Confirms its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement;

11. Reaffirms its determination to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution;

13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Given the difficulties of negotiating such resolutions between 15 states, the language is remarkably forthright. The relief of the UN Secretariat itself at the UN acting after eight years of US veto impasse, shines through the accurate but stark headline of the official UN press release on the resolution:

Israel’s Settlements Have No Legal Validity, Constitute Flagrant Violation of International Law, Security Council Reaffirms

In one sense the Resolution is a statement of the blindingly obvious. But it has had such a political impact because Israel, with its politics switched radically to the right by Eastern European immigration, had really come under Netanyahu to believe it could simply strangle the Palestinians acre by acre, and the neo-con political hegemony in the West was so unshakeable there could never be any comeback.

Trump’s apparent hardline Zionism since his election has been a disappointment and was not really prefigured by the balance of his past pronouncements, although as usual with him they are all over the place. But of course he now has no ability to revoke or undermine this resolution; there is no retrospective veto. I retain a hope that Trump will come to regard the US$34 billion a year the USA gives in military assistance to Israel a very strange way to spend the taxpayers’ money.

It might be argued that Obama’s decision not to veto the Resolution shows his true decent instincts once political machination is no longer a factor. I have been undecided whether he is a decent but timid man prepared to go along with the machinations of hard power without any fights that would make his own life less comfortable, or a total charlatan who was always just a puppet of the powerful. It took eight years for me to tend towards the slightly less appalling option. Certainly Hillary, an uncompromising Zionist who refused to condemn illegal settlements when Bernie Sanders did so, would have vetoed the resolution. In a strange way, Trump’s victory allowed it to pass; if Clinton had won, Obama would have very probably felt bound to defer to her wish to veto it.

My own view is that it is too late for a two state solution. I wrote recently of my work on apartheid South Africa, and I find the two state model proposed for Israel/Palestine irresistibly reminiscent of the Bantustan proposals of the apartheid South African government. There is no economically and politically viable state to be constructed out of the overcrowded and cut off territories of the West Bank and Palestine, even without the massive seizures of land and water resources that have occurred within them. To reverse enough of 1967 settlements for a viable Palestinian state in a two state solution wpuld involve an unacceptable further uprooting of people.

This next bit of my opinion angers some – but only some – of my Palestinian friends. I see a single, secular state as the only viable long term solution, but to negotiate this would entail accepting that a large number of post 1967 settlers should stay where they are. Not all, but it is very difficult to see how any agreement could ever be negotiated that does not accept most of the facts on the ground. I see a read across here from the Cyprus negotiations, where Greek Cypriots have a great difficulty in accepting that Turkish settlers must remain. And I believe that like Cyprus, a federal political solution which does not attempt to move populations around further, seems to me the best basis to move forward.

For me, the Security Council’s observation that Israeli settlements “are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality” and the “cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution”, are accurate descriptions of a process which in fact has already gone beyond the point of no return. The irony is, of course, that it is the Israeli government who are horrified by the idea of a single state solution; yet they have made a two state solution impossible. That leaves them the choice of sharing the land with the Palestinians, and a settlement involving massive financial compensation, or continuing complicity in the slow genocide of the Palestinians herded into their ever shrinking territories.

The Security Council has shown Israel that the whole world is horrified by what they are doing to the Palestinians. It will take further time for the Security Council to acknowledge that their own proposed solution really is no longer viable.


The blog is now essentially closing down for the festive period. I am travelling off to where I shall lie shipwrecked and comatose, drinking fresh mango juice. Barring imminent nuclear war, I am unlikely to post again before the New Year. On the grounds that I am already entirely unfashionable, let me say I saw Status Quo live at the Glasgow Apollo in about 1983, and in Katowice about 1996, and I loved every moment. RIP Rick Parfitt. Merry Christmas everyone!

568 thoughts on “Joyous News From Palestine

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  • bevin

    Grown up persons are capable of making judgments for themselves.
    But others, and the egregious Habbabkuk is one of them, save themselves the effort of thinking and analysing evidence by automatically agreeing with bullies in power and refusing to consider arguments put forward by those contradicting the powerful, (whose boots it is their hearts’ desire to approach close enough to lick).
    A quick way of putting an end to any contradiction of the Establishment view is to denounce the source of the contradiction as beyond the pale of civilised discourse. Thus the immediate denunciation of the WSWS as a Fourth International (and there are several of them) organ. So it is, and in the maintenance of this valuable website this particular Fourth International has something to be proud of. I commend it to all as a useful alternative, a means of monitoring the news from the various state run (and state dependent) establishments which tend to dominate the News Agenda.
    As to whether I am, or have ever been, a member of the Fourth International, though it is nobody’s business but mine, I am quite content to say, as I have said to this egregious blackleg before, that anyone with the political sophistication of a first year undergraduate in Politics or History could answer that question after reading a couple of my comments.
    Including, I might add, the one above which recommends Tony Greenstein’s blog!
    Nothing is more welcome than rigorous, even robust, discussion and debate. But we get none of this from Habbab who, like most of his fellows, is content to answer critics with smears, contradiction with red-baiting and those angered by Imperialism’s serial massacres with “whatabout Stalin” (as depicted by Robert Conquest) or “Mao did worse” (according to the Imperial Japanese apologias).
    I am all in favour of Free Speech but Habbabkuk comes very close to the disruptive behaviour which O.W. Holmes Jr, the ancient and celebrated American jurist, argued added nothing to free discourse. Just as fascist thugs, howling at meetings, throwing stink bombs and beating up their opponents could hardly be defended on the grounds that their ‘opinions’ are as valid as those of honest citizens.

    • RobG

      bevin, they’re like the last drunks at a party that ended long ago.

      They will eventually stumble out, and fall all over each other, and vomit in the curb.

      All on tax payer’s money.

    • Habbabkuk

      “.. thugs, howling at meetings, throwing stink bombs and beating up their opponents..”

      That, actually, is a rather good description of how the Communists repressed opposition political parties in Poland and Czechoslovakia in the period 1945-1948, Bevs. Add a mention of the secret police and it’d be perfect.

      I suspect that matters would not have been any different if the Communists concerned had been of the Trotsky rather than the Stalin persuasion.

  • giyane

    ” Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

    Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

    Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of …”

    Does this mean that President Obama will explain to himself, maybe sitting in the bath tub when he has time on his hands, that it is not permitted in International Law to support a proxy army , like Al Qaida in Syria, with arms, bombs media resources and diplomatic cover, in order to subjugate the civilian population, gain control over sovereign territory and private property and annexe that country in a similar manner to its neighbour Iraq in 2003?

    ” I have been undecided whether he is a decent but timid man prepared to go along with the machinations of hard power without any fights that would make his own life less comfortable, or a total charlatan who was always just a puppet of the powerful. It took eight years for me to tend towards the slightly less appalling option ”

    It has taken me 8 years to come to the opposite conclusion.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Habbabkuk December 26, 2016 at 15:05
    Do you support Holocaust denial and the claim that the State of Israel has no right to exist?’

    It seems to me you are deliberately going ‘off topic’, with malice aforethought.
    You are fully aware that the topic you are trying to snare me with is ‘verboten’ (and rightly) from this blog.

    However, the question I asked you is completely ‘on topic’, but you have signally failed to answer the very simple (even for you) question.

    • Paul Barbara

      Habbs, just in case dementia has got a grip, I’ll remind you of my question;
      @ Paul Barbara December 26, 2016 at 12:29
      @ Habbabkuk December 26, 2016 at 11:31
      Do you support the illegal settlements?

      I should have thought that even you could manage to answer that one, without venturing into ‘verbotenland’.

    • giyane

      Israel’s right to exist? It receives US aid, ergo sum. I would just invite you to connect the dots of the 30 years of war against Islam, culminating with Israel’s neighbours, and Obama and Straw’s sudden revulsion at Israeli apartheid.

      I don’t remember signing the bit about giving my wife and her boyfriend my house so I could come and live in Birmingham in a bedsit and find Islam. I don’t think the Palestinians will remember the bit about they get scraps of land in Israel, while Israel is helped by their so called Muslim companions in Al Qaida to get vast swathes of Syria from the Syrian Muslims.

      It’s all in the microfiche on the currant in your wedding cake. Pity you were greedy and ate it before reading…

    • Habbabkuk

      And I believe that Ehud Olmert was also found guilty and received a jail sentence (correction welcome).

      One thing is sure, however – various CM blog heroes (eg, “President” Assad Jnr) will never do time for the large sums stashed away abroad from the state coffers.

        • Habbabkuk

          Because, Macky, the State of Israel is a state where the law rules. Unlike the states which attract much fawning and exculpatory comment on this website.

          Gamma minus.

          • Macky

            Why such an extraordinary culture of criminality among the top politicians of “a state where the law rules” ?! Seems rather oxymoronic ! 😀

          • Habbabkuk

            Hardly an “extraordinary culture of criminality” , Macks.

            I think you’ll find that several few political figures in France, Italy, Greece, Germany..etc .. have also fallen foul of the criminal law over the years.

            That is perhaps because highly placed politicians might be more prone than many others to assume a certain sense of immunity or of standing above the law as far as they themselves are concerned.

            There is nothing oxymoronic, either, about the statement “a state where the law rules” – provided of course that you read that against a background of erring politicians being brought to justice. It would only be oxymoronic if they were not.

            In conclusion, Macks, I shall have to downgrade your mark to gamma double minus. Any more incomprehsion amd nonsense and you’re on course for a pass degree. 🙂

          • Macky

            “Hardly an “extraordinary culture of criminality””

            Seems you have a difficulty understanding the word “extraordinary”; it means more/above than normal, more than could normally be expected; I tried searching on other countries for the lawlessness of their law-makers, but only one seems comparable, the US, so what does that tell us ?!

        • Macky

          “It tells me you haven’t looked very hard, Macks.”

          Well perhaps you can explain why there are no such articles like the Telegraph’s “Israeli Politicians convicted in the last two decades”, for other countries ?!

          And I think I did the US a disservice by comparing it to Israel, as subject to population ratio, Israel is light years off the page in criminal top politicians !

          • Habbabkuk

            The only explanation I can offer you, Macks, is that the existence/reality or otherwise of an event does not depend on whether The Daily Telegraph writes an article about it.

            Have you tried googling? Start with Silvio Berlusconi (another blustering buffoon 🙂 )

          • Macky

            Note the key word “no such articles LIKE”, as it’s not just The Daily Telegraph, as you well know, eg Wiki only has two pages on Countries iro public officials convicted of crimes, Israel & the US.

            Are you are attempting to deny that Israeli has had an extraordinary high number of top level politicians who have ended-up with criminal convictions, as compared with other counties ?

          • Macky


            So how do you account for things like the Daily Telegraph & Wiki articles ? Do they make stuff up, or do they chose to unfairly single out Israel because they are anti-Semitic ?

          • Habbabkuk

            Macks, do pay attention.

            As I said, the existence/reality or otherwise of an event does not depend on whether The Daily Telegraph (or indeed any other newspaper) writes an article about it.

            Are you not one of the splendid people who continually complain about the MSM not writing about various matters?

            I would not accuse The Daily Telegraph of anti-semitism (although I suspect you may have done so in the past), nor indeed of unfairly singling out the State of Israel on the basis that it has produced an article on cases of corruption or misdeeds in high political circles. But if the thought of that possibility worries you, I would advise you to complain to the editor or even the Press Council.

            Have you checked out Mr Berlusconi (another blustering buffoon) yet, by the way? Once done, please report back.

            Still gamma double minus. 🙂

          • Macky

            “the existence/reality or otherwise of an event does not depend on whether The Daily Telegraph (or indeed any other newspaper) writes an article about it.”

            ??! Sounds like you are in denial yet again; the issue is not one event, but the remarkable phenomena of criminality among the highest levels of Israeli politicians; if it didn’t exist, then the Telegraph would not have written about it.


          • Habbabkuk


            “.. if it didn’t exist, then the Telegraph would not have written about it.”

            I am glad you’re beginning to lay some trust in what is written in the MSM.

            I wonder if you would agree with me that things might exist even if The Daily Telegraph (and other MSM) might have not chosen to write about them?

            And, for the third and last time : have you got off your backside and googled “Berlusconi” yet? While you’re engaged with matters Italian, you might do the same with “Gianni De Michaelis”.

            Report back when done, thanks.

          • Macky

            LOL ! I leave it there as any fair-minded person following this can see that you are throwing out shoals of red herrings rather that confront the point of issue, namely the extraordinarily high volume of criminality among top Israeli politicians; guess it takes that type of person to represent a State that itself is infamous for international law breaking.

          • Macky

            “Yes, Macks, you’d do well to leave it there.”

            It does not seem to matter where I leave it, you always end-up second anyhow ! 😀

    • Sharp Ears

      ..”It brought Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud right-wing government to power in 1996, and the peace talks came to a virtual standstill. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin took place on November 4, 1995, at 21:30, at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo Accords at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv.”

      Zionist Israeli killed own prime minister – YouTube

      • Habbabkuk

        Brought to power by free and fair elections. In other words, in a democracy. Unlike the “govts” of most of the State of Israel’s Arab neighbours near and far.

    • Silvio

      Goodness gracious! Was Ms May breaking her own law?
      Alleged “Self Hater” Gilad Atzmon comments on a report in Haaretz:

      Hot Off The Press – Britain Pulled the Strings Behind Anti Settlement Resolution
      Ten days ago, pretty much out of the blue, British PM Theresa May announced that she decided to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and to integrate it into British law. Jews in Britain and all over the world were over the moon. Tonight we learn that May’s declaration was a preemptive move. It was Britain rather than the USA that had been pulling the strings behind the anti Israel Security Council resolution.

      Haaretz reports tonight that it was actually the Brits that “encouraged New Zealand to continue pushing for a vote even without Egyptian support.” Israeli diplomats say that from information that reached the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, British legal figures and diplomats had been working directly with the Palestinians on the wording of the resolution even before it was distributed by Egypt the first time on Wednesday evening.

    • Why be ordinary?

      If so, why did the U.K. support the UN Resolution so strongly? Ha’aretz says it was the U.K. Which orchestrated the whole thing.

      • Herbie

        The US and UK are pissed off at Netanyahu, whose allies in the US were Trump’s biggest supporters.

        Lends even more credence to the idea that Netanyahu supporters in the US were responsible for the leaks, not the Russians.

        See the Brookings interview with Naftali Bennet to understand the split between Netanyahu and globalist Zionists.

        Anyway, the globalists have hated Netanyahu since at least the period when he was PM in the 90s.

        Obama hated his guts, regularly calling him a liar.

  • michael norton

    Coroner reveals Polish driver was shot dead by Berlin terrorist Anis Amri HOURS before his lorry was used to kill 12 shoppers

    Lukasz Urban is believed to have died up to three-and-a-half hours before the attack
    It was initially thought he had tried to foil the atrocity
    A coroner’s report reportedly suggests he died a long time before
    He was found in the vehicle, having been shot and stabbed

    There are ( or should be) a lot more revelations to come out of this story.
    Anis Amri was shot dead by a rookie cop in a suburb of Milan, this is the place where immigrants get their forged papers.
    This is two miles from where the Polish lorry loaded machinery for Berlin.

    So the ( dead) man suspected of being the chief perpetrator of the Berlin Christmas market, could have known each other.
    Indeed smuggling forged documents, could be part of the mix.

    • michael norton

      I am not sure how the Berlin Coroner could claim that Anis Amri has shot dead Lukasz Urban.
      I am assuming the body of Anis Amri is in Milan?

      • michael norton

        It is now being said that Amis Amri beat, stabbed and shot Lukask Urban but kept him in the lorry for hours before the Berlin Christmas Market Massacre, then he left his mobile phone and papers in the cab, while he walked off into Savoie, then later made his way through the Alps to turn up within two miles of the site, where the lorry was loaded.
        That is a straight line journey of 525 miles.

        It seems a little strange for the “fingered” Tunisian to turn up dead, within a short stroll of the place the lorry was loaded?

  • Sharp Ears

    Not joyous news from Palestine on Christmas Day.

    ‘Newsletter Headlines Wednesday, 28 December 2016

    In Occupied Palestine headlines for 25 December 2016:

    1 wounded during joint Israeli Army/settler raid in Nablus

    Israeli Army tanks shell town and UN refugee camp in Gaza

    Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 13 towns and villages

    3 attacks (2 Israeli ceasefire violations)

    30 raids including home invasions

    1 wounded – 7 taken prisoner – 1 detained

    3 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage

    Read more:

    • Habbabkuk

      Funny how there are always “three” acts of “agricultural sabotage”, isn’t it. I believe I pointed put this interesting fact well over a year ago.

      • Sharp Ears

        In plain sight for a person to see.

        1. Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – agricultural sabotage: Central Gaza – 22:00, Israeli tanks, positioned behind the Green Line, shelled the al-Bureij UN refugee camp.

        2. Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – agricultural sabotage: Khan Yunis – 07:40, Israeli tank positions behind the Green Line opened fire on Khuza’a.

        3. Economic sabotage: Gaza — the Israeli Navy continues to enforce an arbitrary fishing limit.

  • Republicofscotland

    Jill Stein, accused Washington of backing terrorists, now the president of Turkey Erdogan, also accuses Washington of backing terrorists in Syria.

    However Erdogan’s accusations (in my opinion they are true, the Daesh one anyway), are two-fold, because along with accusing Washington of backing Daesh, Erdogan includes Kurdish militants as terrorists.

    Erdogan has persecuted and blamed Kurds living in Turkey, demonising them as terrorists, which allows him to justify his relentless attack on them.

  • Republicofscotland

    Moscow would welcome Henry Kissinger’s expertise in Russia-US relations, says the Kremlin.

    “Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has deep expertise in Russia-US relations, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said commenting on a report that the 93-year-old may have a role in normalization, of ties between Washington and Moscow.”

    “Kissinger remains one of the wisest politicians and experts who, among other things, has deep expertise in Russian affairs and Russia-US relations,” Peskov said on Tuesday.”

    “If his expertise and rich experience, accumulated over the decades, will be in demand in some way, we would definitely welcome it,” he added, speaking with journalists.”

    It was only yesterday that I was, trying to point out to the likes of Macky (unsuccessfully of course) that Putin like the West, has no qualms, when it comes to getting into bed with the devil.

    Still I’m sure it will all fall upon, deaf ears.

    • Republicofscotland

      Some alert commentor’s have posted comments from Gilad Atzmon’s blog, were it is claimed that Britain was behind the pulling of the string over Friday’s UN Resolution.

      I’d like to if that is the case, well done to the British government, for being brave enough to at least act covertly. I often criticise them, however on this occasion, I give praise when it’s due.

    • Macky

      @ROS Why do you persist in proving to everybody how shallow is your thinking ?! Picking the brain of the old war criminal for useful information for your country does not mean that Putin has got “into bed with the devil” !! 😀

        • Macky

          “but I did mention yesterday that Putin is capable of skullduggery.”

          So you did, many times, yet you repeatedly failed to give any concrete examples.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes Herbie, you are correct, I recall reading years ago that Kissinger, met Putin in the 1990’s and both hit it off, because both got their start in intelligence. Kissinger has “cozied” up to all manner of presidents and prime ministers over the decades.

    • bevin

      “It was only yesterday that I was, trying to point out to the likes of Macky (unsuccessfully of course) that Putin like the West, has no qualms, when it comes to getting into bed with the devil.”
      You might add that he eats regularly, has sexual desires and breathes air. The problem is that you have not proved that Putin finds any reason for consorting with the devil or sees any advantage in doing so.
      Putin, for example,does not employ proxy armies of wahhabi fanatics to destabilise US spheres of influence, he does not invest billions of dollars in coups aimed at confronting the United States, he did not intervene in the recent Presidential elections. The US has done all these things with great regularity. Habba reaches back to 1948 for instances of Soviet interference in elections, we only need reach back weeks to elections (Haiti) in which the US has clearly and illegally intervened.
      When did Russia last carry out a regime changing coup? The US has carried out dozens in the last decade.
      It is of small moment what sort of a person moralists will judge Putin to have been when he dies. What is important is that he is a very clever diplomatic ‘counter puncher’ winning battle after battle with the US and slowly diminishing the hegemonic ambitions of a country which has become an international nuisance, arrogating to itself the right to intervene at will in the internal affairs of other peoples.
      As someone who seems to have a sincere desire for his nation’s independence it would make sense for you to wake up to the threat that the US poses to, for example, a Scots desire to leave NATO and the UK.
      I think that your problem is that you are so much addicted to junk news sources, such as BBC, that you cannot help absorbing much of their ideology.
      To debate Putin’s character is to change the subject to one of which we can know very little: the underlying truth is that the current national interests of the Russian state coincide with those of anti-imperialists around the world. It therefore makes no sense to question Putin’s motives- his actions simply make the world a better, safer, more peaceful place. Ask anyone who lives in Aleppo, but don’t expect the broadcasters owned and controlled by Al Qaeda’s allies (HMG NATO etc) to tell you the truth.

      • Republicofscotland

        And I thought Macky was in denial, Bevin, if the US, were welcome Russia with open arms, do you honestly think Putin would turn it down, on the grounds that the US and its minions are regime changing capitalist hegemonic devils?

        “I think that your problem is that you are so much addicted to junk news sources, such as BBC, that you cannot help absorbing much of their ideology.”


        I’ve been following the machinations of the BBC, for years now, the Ministry of Truth ramped up their lies and biased news articles (with regards to Scottish independence) around 2012, and it has remained so ever since. So you are way, way off on your wild assertion.

        Incidently the BBC branch office in Scotland has replaced its head of programmes, Ken McQuarrie, it is now run by Donalda MacKinnon, no doubt the Ministry of Truth, is going for a more softer, subtle approach.

        “To debate Putin’s character is to change the subject to one of which we can know very little: the underlying truth is that the current national interests of the Russian state coincide with those of anti-imperialists around the world. It therefore makes no sense to question Putin’s motives- ”

        Oh I’m pretty sure Putin being a ex-KGB man, will be pragmatic, and methodical, as for claiming Putin is anti-imperialist, between the years 2000 and 2004, A new group of business magnates emerged, including Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Yakunin, Yury Kovalchuk, Sergey Chemezov, with close personal ties to Putin.

        I’d wager Putin himself is a multi-millionaire.

        • bevin

          “… if the US, were (to?) welcome Russia with open arms, do you honestly think Putin would turn it down, on the grounds that the US and its minions are regime changing capitalist hegemonic devils?..”

          No I don’t. I don’t think that “capitalist” has anything to do with it-Putin is the Russian capitalists’ best friend.
          As to the idea that Trump clearly has of splitting the alliance between Iran, Russia and China by favouring the one and attempting to isolate the other two, I think that it is such an obvious ploy that Russians will see right through it.
          So long as Russia is physically surrounded by US military bases and emigre fascist-run NATO states such as Poland, the Baltic trio and Ukraine it will not drop its guard. If the US retreats from eastern Europe, removes its anti-missile system from Poland, Bulgaria and Rumania and cedes a belt of states to neutrality Russia could be tempted.
          In reality the die is cast, given Peace everything is on the side of the Eurasian project. In particular Europe will eventually succumb to the logic of the trade system and distance itself from the US alliance.
          In any reasonable view of things this would be of benefit to all, allowing humanity the breathing space it requires to save the planetary environment and distribute wealth in a fair and life sustaining way. Somehow I don’t see this prospect attracting the US ruling class which will have to be crushed-by the 99% who are its primary victims- before we get any sustained sense out of Washington.
          As to your arguing that Putin cannot be anti-imperialist because he is a rich man I cannot see the logic behind your assertion: in Russia one is either an anti-Imperialist or a Fifth Columnist. Many oligarchs are anti-imperialist. Many who consider themselves of the ‘left’ are willing tools of the US Embassy.

          • Republicofscotland

            A couple of points Bevin.

            ” Europe will eventually succumb to the logic of the trade system and distance itself from the US alliance.”

            And the US will just sit back meekly, and let its EU interests evaporate, I think not, the EU exports quite a bit to the US, why would European businesses distance themselves?

            “in Russia one is either an anti-Imperialist or a Fifth Columnist.”

            And those who carry out the murders of the “supposed” fifth columnists (those who speak out against Putin’s regime) are never arrested, or trumped up charges against Chechen’s are produced.

            The likes of Andrey Makarevich and Yuri Shevchuk,, Ilya Ponomarev, Aleksei Navalny, and Boris Nemtsov, are classed as fifth columnists, because they spoke out.

            As for your anti-imperialist assertion, far right fascist groups have backed Putin, and even held a conference, in St Petersburg. In my opinion, imperialism comes a distant second to racism in modern day Russia.


          • Habbabkuk

            It is a further characteristic if far left wingers, in particular Trotskyites, to operate – shamelessly – in a fact-free zone in which truth has no place.

            The post at 17h45 shows this characteristic in magisterial style.

            Intelligent, informed readers will spot the numerous examples all by themselves.

            To take just a couple of them:

            – ” the alliance between Iran, Russia and China”

            – “(the) emigre fascist-run NATO states such as Poland, the Baltic trio and Ukraine”…

            – which “physically surround (Russia)” – have you looked at an atlas recently or are you redefining the word “surround”?

            Personally, I am very relaxed when I see posts like that because the authors are just shooting themselves – and therefore their ideology – in the foot. Except for naive readers like Macks, that is.

          • Old Mark

            So long as Russia is physically surrounded by US military bases and emigre fascist-run NATO states such as Poland, the Baltic trio and Ukraine it will not drop its guard. If the US retreats from eastern Europe, removes its anti-missile system from Poland, Bulgaria and Rumania and cedes a belt of states to neutrality Russia could be tempted.

            Bevin- you are correct in pointing out that the encroachment of NATO into the ex Soviet space (ie the Baltics), contrary to undertakings made previously, has riled the Russians and explains much about the alleged ‘aggression’ attributed to Putin.

            Would you agree that one way for Putin to kick off such a de-escalation would be to offer to remove his non Naval military presence in the Kaliningrad oblast in return for the removal of NATO troops and hardware from the Baltics ? Kaliningrad is after all a shameful historical anomaly- a sliver of ‘Russian’ territory established as a direct consequence of the Red army’s brutal ethnic cleansing of the area in 1945, which included the gang rape of most of its female population.

          • Habbabkuk

            Old Mark

            Nice point.

            I know you are well aware of what the Soviet Union got up to in the three independent Baltic Republics in 1939/40 and again in 1944/45.

            The question is : is Bevs?

  • Sharp Ears

    Israel knows no law.

    Israel to defy allies with settlement building spree
    Gregg Carlstrom, Tel Aviv
    December 28 2016, 12:01am,
    The Times

    The Jewish settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev, left, on land claimed by the Palestinians, is one of the sites approved for a homebuilding programme by Israel

    Israel is set to anger its allies by approving the building of more homes on occupied Palestinian land, escalating an international row that began after the United Nations security council voted last week to condemn settlement expansion.

    The United States did not act to block the UN resolution on Friday, the first time in almost 40 years that Washington’s veto has not protected Israel from censure in a vote of this kind. It sent already frosty relations between Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and President Obama to a new low.

    A total of 618 homes in three settlements in East Jerusalem, on land claimed by the Palestinians, are likely to be approved at a meeting today. Permission for thousands more is expected to be granted…/..


  • michael norton

    Berlin truck attack: Tunisian ‘linked to Anis Amri’ held
    Ministry of Truth

    A 40-year-old Tunisian has been detained in Berlin in connection with last week’s attack on a Christmas market, German state prosecutors say.

    They say his number was found on the phone of Anis Amri, who killed 12 people by hijacking a lorry and ramming it through the stalls.

    Police raided the home and workplace of the man in the Tempelhof area of Berlin, German media report.

    They seem to be jumping all over the place in Berlin.

    I’d like to know why not one French official questioned Anis Amria, while he was strolling through France, yet France has been in a State of Emergency for a year?

      • michael norton

        They now claim he was meeting with people in The Netherlands, between the Berlin Christmas Market Massacre
        and being shot dead a a rookie cop in Milan, in the district where you buy forged documents.
        It is also claimed he was in Denmark.

      • michael norton

        A British woman has told Sky News she is convinced she saw the Berlin attacker in FRANCE,
        two days before he was shot dead in Italy.

        Anne Lomax claims she spotted Anis Amri in Chamonix, a French resort close to the borders with Switzerland and Italy,
        on Wednesday.

        The 50-year-old said she reported the sighting to French police, who interviewed her for four hours about what she saw.
        but they did bugger all.

        • michael norton

          I think it is time the authorities” in France, The Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Germany and maybe also Denmark and Switzerland, start to get their stories “right”.

          So far the only straight batters, seem to be Italy.

          Police across Europe are piecing together the movements of Anis Amri, the Tunisian man who killed 12 people in last week’s Berlin truck attack.

          Meanwhile German police have arrested a 40 year old Tunisian man in Berlin in connection with the attack.

          According to Italian investigators, after fleeing Berlin, Amri travelled through The Netherlands.

          The Italians also said they found two unused SIM cards in Amri’s backpack, which had been distributed free of charge in the malls of three Dutch cities.

          And the Dutch police have said it’s very likely that Amri was filmed in Nimwegen, one of those cities near to the German border.

          Investigators want to find out whether Amri had a support network that helped him.

          Meanwhile in Poland preliminary findings of the autopsy on the Polish driver found dead in the truck suggest the man may have still been alive when the attack occurred.

          Lukasz Urban suffered gunshot and stab wounds and investigators are looking into whether he may have grabbed the truck’s steering wheel to end the carnage.

          So are we to understand that the Polish driver did not have an autopsy in Berlin
          but actually in Poland?
          Is the body of Mr.Tunisia to be moved from Italy?

          This all seems nonsense.

          • Why be ordinary?

            “Nimwegen” is a bridge too far. The fact that different stories are coming out in different places is either evidence that there wasn’t a conspiracy arranged in advance, or a clever move to disguise the fact that there was one.
            Rob G might like to note that the German media are reporting that the funeral will be in Poland on Friday. The German Prosecutor is refusing to confirm any leaks from the Berlin autopsy. No reason the Poles couldn’t do one too if they wanted to.

        • Habbabkuk


          “A British woman has told Sky News she is convinced she saw the Berlin attacker in FRANCE,
          two days before he was shot dead in Italy.”

          She’s probably just a compulsive attention seeker. As such, she is possibly related to you and she would certainly feel at home on this blog.

          • michael norton

            The “British woman” may or may not be a compulsive attention seeker but if she was interviewed for four hours by the Authorities in The French Alps they will have listened and questioned her with interest.
            There is however, no story of the French police talking to Anis Amri, they let him wonder through France, yet France is the only major country in Europe, that is under a State of Emergency.
            So what is the benefit of the State of Emergency?
            A similar attack in Nice, five months ago, also, apparently perpetrated by a Tunisian, caused the State of Emergency
            to be extended.

  • Mark Russell

    It’s a pity that Kerry didn’t make the same speech eight years ago. What a joyous prospect for 2017 – an unholy alliance of Trump, Putin and Netenyahu. Doesn’t bode well for the UN – or the Palestinians – and rather undermines the claim of Craig’s post.

    • bevin

      You can console yourself with the knowledge that Putin is also part of an alliance with Hezbollah and Iran, both friends of Palestine and committed to its freedom. As are all honest people.

      • Habbabkuk

        Iran doesn’t give a flying fuck for the Plusteenians. If you really believe it does you are very naive.

        • Republicofscotland


          I feel the relationship between Iran and Palestine, and indeed Israel, is far more complex, and clandestine. I my opinion, Iran keeps its relationship with Israel, a secret from Palestine, and Iran, keeps its relationship with Palestine, a secert from Israel.

          A state of affairs, that’s magnified around the world.

        • bevin

          And do you think that the United States or the UK gives a damn for the Israelis?
          The state of Israel is widely detested for both the policies it pursues, which make Apartheid seem mild in comparison, and for the contempt it displays for international opinion and law.
          From its foundation in 1948 Israel has defied the United Nations and proclaimed to the world that it defines might as right. Such is the banner it lives under, such is the scaffold from which it is destined to hang. Its ability to bully its neighbours and to defy the world cannot last, only racists-and there are plenty of them defending Israel- could delude themselves on the matter.
          As a matter of interest you might want to explain to your long suffering readers what the word “Plusteenians” is meant to mean. I take it that it is a racial slur. You are a shameless fascist.

          • Habbabkuk


            re “Plusteenians”

            I was just following the example given by Sharp Ears of playing with people’s names -forgive my temporary lapse and blame her 🙂

            Good to see that you disapprove of the practice but I wonder why you have never rebuked her for it 🙂

          • Habbabkuk

            I would not like to speculate how deep the concern of the UK and the US for the State of Israel is but I think one would be on fairly safe ground in feeling that it is deeper than the concern of Iran for the Palestinians. After all, the UK, US and Israel are all genuine democracies whereas Iran and the West Bank/Gaza govts are most certainly not.

            By the way, I am given to understand that travellers to Iran are advised to make sure that there are no Israeli entry stamps in their passports. Is that correct or have I been misinformed?

          • bevin

            The problem with the notion that the US and UK support Israel because it is a ‘democracy’ is that neither country has much use for democracies: they both support Saudi Arabia and the GCC, Jordan and Morocco, none of them democracies, and none of them capable of retaining power for an hour if ‘western’ support were removed. Far from sponsoring democracy both the US and UK thwart it in the region. As to West Bank and Gaza elections, they both returned an Hamas majority, despite US efforts (well documented) to rig the votes. No elections have been held because Israel and the US are afraid that the result would be to kick out their tools in fatah and replace them with representatives of Palestinian opinion.

          • lysias

            The real reason the U.S. and the UK have supported Israel is that it serves as a base for Western interests in the strategic region of the Middle East. Talk about democracy is just eyewash for the proles.

            Now that new sources of oil have emerged, and given that enivronmental concerns suggest other sources off energy should be used, the Middle East is of much less strategic importance.

      • lysias

        Israel is in a strategically untenable position. If its leaders had any sense, they would make a deal with the Palestinians that would allow Jews to remain in Palestine with constitutionally and internationally guaranteed protections. Even the Afrikaners had that much sense. Unfortunately, the Israelis and their leaders seem not to have that sense.

        They have as little sense of where they are as the pieds noirs European settlers in French Algeria had, and their fate will probably be similar.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    The Newspapers cannot be trusted to tell the truth, and neither can the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, RT or any website. Of course some of it is true – but most of it is Rubbish – so don’t trust it. Most of the people promoting the lies, probably do so honestly. They actually think it is true or realise that if they question the information presented to them to promote, rather than just publishing it, (as paid to do) – they will get fired. They will lose their jobs and not get paid. This can have serious personal implications potentially involving the same kind of poverty – that they might otherwise be investigating and writing about.

    I have not yet bought his book either – but this is brilliant


  • Dave

    In practice the IHRA definition will be wielded in a partisan way by the government and lobby groups with everyone expected to full in line or face sanctions as soon as an accusation of infringement is made with only the feeble minded willing to plead guilty being taken to court.

    Those who plead not guilty wont be taken to court, because any case will be dropped because the government wont want the iniquitous definition tested in court and because if it is the Prime Minister can be called as a star witness to explain why the UK UN vote was OK despite upsetting some people, which would never be allowed.

    I’m not encouraging anyone to try this, but its similar to and explains why Paul Burrell refused to do a deal to avoid a long term inside, because he knew the case on behalf of Her Majesty would be dropped at the last minute, to avoid him calling HM as a star witness, which would never be allowed.

    • Why be ordinary

      UK votes in the UN Security Council upset people all the time. Not always the same way. There would be no need for the PM to appear in Court to explain the UK vote. If the Court required an explanation that could be given by a suitably senior FCO official. The UK vote was cast by the UK Ambassador to the UN – it was not a personal act of the Prime Minister
      I don’t read the right newspapers to know about the Burrell case, but I would guess that this involved the Queen personally. She is not supposed to appear in her own courts, as this would seem rather unfair

      • Dave

        The PM could be subpoenaed to explain why the UN vote wasn’t an infringement of the IHRA definition she had promoted. I suppose a friendly judge may not allow the subpoena, but requiring a high ranking civil servant to appear would still have the desired effect to get any case dropped.

        • Why be ordinary?

          Only if someone decided to prosecute her personally. The PM does not go to court every time someone challenges a decision of her Government.

    • Habbabkuk

      Well, no one has ever denied that PM Netanyahu is fond of bluster. As, in your infinitely less important way, you are.

      • Macky

        A blustering fool in charge of a nuclear armed state whose leaders espouse the “Samson option” is not really something to laugh-off.

        • Habbabkuk

          Would you care to name the person who came up with the Samson option and set out his place and position in the Israeli “leadership”?

          • Why be ordinary

            I know that you know he can’t, but this does illustrate the most destablising aspect of Isreal’s nuclear policy in that no one knows what it is, because the Israeli Government won’t admit that it has one.

          • Loony

            Why Guvnor I do believe that I can be of some assistance. May I humbly recommend to you a fine book by one Seymour Hersch which is helpfully entitled “The Samson Option” It may go someway to slaking your expressed thirst for knowledge on this matter


            Should you manage to digest the contents of this fine tome you may realize that some of your questions remained unanswered. This will likely be a consequence of the Israeli policy of “nuclear ambiguity” The key word here is ambiguity and as the word itself suggests precludes the forming of evidence based definitive conclusions.

            Notwithstanding this small problem it is likely, as Mr. Hersch concludes, that Israeli leaders including David Ben-Gurion, Shimon Peres, Moshe Dayan, and Levi Eshkol were among the first to coin the phrase sometime in the mid 1960’s.

            I do so hope that this helps. Kindest regards and seasons greetings.

          • Macky

            The Israeli “Samson Option” doctrine is widely known & accepted as unofficial Israeli policy, but only “unofficial” in the sense of Israel’s official ambiguity about possessing nuclear weapons in the first place., therefore the question of who first coined the phrase & their position is an irrelevancy. Lots of sources both online & in print describe how various Israeli leaders have threaten its use, and/or used it as a blackmailing negotiating tactic, and this extract contains examples of both;

            “In 2002, while the United States was building for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened that if Israel was attacked “Israel will react. Is it clear?”[26] Israeli defense analyst Zeev Schiff explained: “Israel could respond with a nuclear retaliation that would eradicate Iraq as a country.” It is believed President Bush gave Sharon the green-light to attack Baghdad in retaliation, including with nuclear weapons, but only if attacks came before the American military invasion.[27]

            Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has admitted that nuclear weapons are used by Israel for “compellent purposes” – i.e., forcing others to accept Israeli political demands.[28] In 1998 Peres was quoted as saying, “We have built a nuclear option, not in order to have a Hiroshima, but to have an Oslo,” referring to imposing a settlement on the Palestinians.[29]”


          • Habbabkuk

            Macks (23h05)

            Unfortunately for you, neither of your two examples is an example of the “Samson option”.

            They are, however, examples of what Lysias has kindly pointed out, namely that Israel is in a strategically indefensible position (this is because it is a very small but densely populated country surrounded by rather large Arab neighbours with rather large populations who, in general, wish Israel no good and have demonstrated that wish on two occasions).

            Possessing a nuclear capacity is perfectly sensible in those circumstances – as it was, for that matter, sensible for nuclear weapons to be stationed in Europe during the Cold War. The point is, surely, that in neither case have those weapons been used.

          • Macky

            “Unfortunately for you, neither of your two examples is an example of the “Samson option”.!

            Wrong, the Samson Option is the Israeli threat to use nuclear weapons even if it means the resultant destruction of Israel itself. Whetever it’s Golda Meir authorizing a nuclear alert, by ordering 13 atomic bombs be prepared for missiles and aircraft during Yom Kippur War, or the continue use of this threat as nuclear bullying strategy, the Samson Option is very a real & continuously used Israeli doctrine.

          • Habbabkuk

            “Wrong, the Samson Option is the Israeli threat to use nuclear weapons even if it means the resultant destruction of Israel itself”

            Exactly, Macks – and that is why your two “examples” are so ill thought out: foolish even.

            Let’s take them in turn.

            IF Irak had attacked Israel with conventional arms and IF Israel had counter-attacked with nuclear missiles, how would that have resulted in the destruction of Israel?

            Perhaps you are assuming that Russia would have nuked Israel? If so, I rather doubt it.

            Your second non-example is about “compellent purposes” (I note you cite a general statement rather than a specific event). Can you explain how such a compellent purpose – if actually translated into action against an Arab state (which it has not been)- would lead to the nuclear destruction of Israel?

            Concluding, I should advise you to stick with insults and bragadoccio claims of how you always get the better of me, you’re much better at them than you are with substantive discussion. 🙂

          • Macky

            “Exactly, Macks – and that is why your two “examples” are so ill thought out: foolish even”

            Seems you are missing the point, and perhaps not deliberately for a change; a country that makes it known that it is prepared to use nuclear first strikes (as per Golda Meir), even if it means its own destruction, (or not), allows it to use that fact, ie the “Samson Doctrine”, to continually threaten others both militarily & diplomatically. Israel knows that its first strike policy may actually increase its own likelihood of being the target of a pre-emptive first strike, which is why it has evolved Second Strike capabilities, via its nuclear-capable submarines & its deeply buried ballistic missiles silos.

            The Samson Option Doctrine is a real factor in international politics, despite your attempts to pretend that it doesn’t exists.

          • Habbabkuk

            I don’t think I’ve denied that the Samson option has been enunciated, although I note you still haven’t been bothered to substantiate your claim that it is “espoused by the Israeli leadership. Perhaps you framed your assertion in such a way as to enable you to avoid having to be precise? Nor, I think, have I pronounced on whether it’s a factor in certain international relations

            But to the point : you now appear to be confusing two rather different things, namely, the Samson option and first strike. This is evident not only from the general tenor of your latest offering but also from a specific part of it:

            “..a country that makes it known that it is prepared to use nuclear first strikes (as per Golda Meir), even if it means its own destruction, (or not), allows it to use that fact, ie the “Samson Doctrine”, to continually threaten others both militarily & diplomatically.”

            Clue : the words “(or not)”. If there is no destruction of Israel then one cannot say the Samson option has applied.

            You’re down to a Pass degree by now, Macks.

          • Macky

            “you now appear to be confusing two rather different things, namely, the Samson option and first strike.”

            Ahem ! Do you really not know that the whole rational/justification of having nuclear weapons is premised on the MAD doctrine ?!!

            No country can now expect to get away with launching a nuclear first strike against any other country, even against non-nuclear ones, exactly because of the intricate but existential dependencies/relationships ; do you really think that Russia or China, with their gigantic land masses will not respond to protect their existential interests, especially in the Middle East, by not hesitating to obliterate that tiny strip of land called Israel ?!! In fact they could not afford to not retaliate, otherwise their bluff will have been called.

            Every country that first launches nuclear weapons will be choosing to exercise its own suicidal Samson Option, because First Strikes are the Samson Option.

          • Habbabkuk

            “do you really think that Russia or China, with their gigantic land masses will not respond to protect their existential interests, especially in the Middle East, by not hesitating to obliterate that tiny strip of land called Israel ?”

            You are correct for once, Macks – I really do believe that.

            Among other reasons, because they have no “existential interests” to protect in the Middle East (and no, don’t say “oil for China”)

          • Habbabkuk


            Other Chinese “existential” interests? Russian “existential” interests?

            Definition of “existential interests”?

          • Macky

            “Other Chinese “existential” interests? Russian “existential” interests?”

            Credibility of their nuclear deterrents to safeguard existential interests is an existential interest itself; hope that doesn’t hurt your brain too much !

            “Definition of “existential interests”?”

            Get yourself a dictionary ! 😀

        • lysias

          There is increasing talk of the Russians having found technical means to thwart the U.S. delivery mechanisms for nuclear weapons. If this is true, those technical means would presumably be equally effective against Israeli nukes.

          Think outside the box. The Russians do.

          Most naval experts until the first years of the Second World War thought battleships were effective weapons. Taranto and Pearl Harbor showed that they were obsolete, as visionaries like Billy Mitchell had long claimed.

          • Habbabkuk

            That sounds like someone hoping that a” strategically indefensible” country remains just so.

          • John Goss

            Do you remember the missiles that were brought down when Syria was falsely accused of having used chemical weapons. The US denied they were theirs. There was speculation they were Israeli.

            Anyway we know the Russians disabled all the electronics of the USS Donald Cook was buzzed when it ‘strayed’ into Crimean territorial waters sending it scurrying back to a Romanian port, where allegedly the crew resigned. When the Ukrainian civil war looked like it might escalate the threats from one Russian military source was that the first two places to be closed down would be London’s financial headquarters, and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

            Who knows what Russian capabilities are? I confess I don’t. Only somebody with a very small brain would want to challenge the hypothesis.

  • Dave

    One explanation for the vote is the forlorn recognition that one part of a two state solution can be Jewish, but a one state solution will be mixed, unless all non-Jews are expelled from the Holy Land. This is the rationale of further settlements on Palestinian land and a recipe for perpetual war, hence why the lunatic is an enemy of Jews and humanity.

  • Aidworker1

    Watching Nethanyahu

    Really not recognising what’s happening.

    I remember South Africa and the sanctions which worked so well and we must repeat.

    Everyone please boycott, divest and sanction urgently!!

    • Habbabkuk

      Perhaps the reason why more people are not responding to your urgent appeal to BDS is because they see no similarity between apartheid South Africa and the State of Israel?

      • Old Mark

        Habba- on the previous page I replied to your pointed question about whether I thought the State of Israel was ‘genocidal’ or ‘an apartheid state’; as we are still banging on about comparisons with RSA pre 1994 I hope you don’t mind this bit of cut and paste from my reply, posted in the early hours and which you may have missed-

        I’ve never held to the view that Israeli actions are ‘genocidal’- hence my initial comment here in support of Komodo, who also is apparently uneasy when this extreme claim is levelled against Israel. As for the ‘apartheid state’ allegation against Israel, this clearly is an accurate depiction of the situation at present in the West Bank, where the settlers have their own roads, preferential access to scarce water supplies, and full status as Israeli citizens;such a claim when applied to Israel proper is however inaccurate, as Arab citizens do have the franchise there.

        Within Israel proper a sort of middle eastern Jim Crow situation applies- Israeli Arabs, like US blacks before Johnson’s reforms, are notionally full and equal citizens, but their status within Israel is still subject to certain impediments- in particular relating to benefits granted on the basis of previous service in the IDF- from which the great majority of Israeli Arabs are excluded. I’d also add that the Jim Crow analogy also addresses the fact the Israeli Arabs are indeed better off than most of their brethren in Arab ruled countries- just as US blacks under Jim Crow were better off than their brethren who were left behind in Africa.

        • Habbabkuk

          Old Mark

          Apologies for not seeing your comment of yesterday evening and thank you for extracting from it today.

          As a general reply I would say only this: you have already dissociated yourself from the silly cries of “genocide”. I suspect that beneath the points you’ve made you are not entirely happy either (am I being too mild here?) with the equally silly cries of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”.Indeed, I suspect you are as uneasy with the use of those terms as you are about the use of “genocide” (you don’t need to react to this if you’d prefer not to).

          Just two specific points of detail (as you know, the devil is often in the detail..):

          – the West Bank has not been annexed and is therefore not part of Israel. Iro the right to vote, the position of Israeli settlers is in fact no different from that of French or UK nationals (to take just two examples) residing elsewhere than in France or the UK. Accusations of apartheid-style treatment in respect of the right to vote (Knesset) of Palestinians can only be made if and when the West Bank is annexed and if Palestinians were then to be denied the right to vote;

          – you mention discrimination within Israel proper. Leaving aside the question whether discrimination – if it exists – equates to apartheid (using that term as it should be used, ie, to reflect the State system formerly applying in South Africa), you should note that, as far as I know, nothing prevents all Israeli Arabs from performing military service in the IDF if they wish to do so. It is true that they are not subject to conscription (as the inhabitants of Northern Ireland were not during WW2). If this is incorrect, please advise. The alleged fact that those citizens of Israel who did not serve in the IDF cannot receive certain state benefits cannot therefore be presented – in those circumstances – as evidence of discrimination against Arab Israeli citizens.

          Always interesting to discuss with someone who is willing and able to discuss in a civilised manner 🙂

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Cathal Haughian is a very interesting guy, and I am almost certain he is not as young as he looks – but you never can tell – I am.

    He wrote this – so he has got to be at least as old as my kids to observe and comment on them so brilliantly..

    I mean it is not often you get 10-12 year olds looking up to their older brothers and sisters – and coming to such conclusions that you wrote a letter to the National Press and they published it – criticising them – and our parents…

    They didn’t like The Beatles – even my cousins weren’t that impressed in1963. I thought they were brilliant and listened to them even on the back of my Dad’s moped – before they were on TV.

    I would love to meet Cathal Haughian (and his Girlfriend).

    He is Talented and Different. (I think he teaches in China). Some of our friend’s kids do too – but he also does the FT.


  • Sharp Ears

    Sir Kim Darroch KCMG has been deputed to crawl up Trump’s rear end – a most unsavoury task indeed.

    UK ambassador Sir Kim Darroch in charm offensive towards Donald Trump
    Sir Kim Darroch praises Trump’s “historic and impressive win” weeks after dismissing him as “an outsider and an unknown quantity”.

    Laughable crowd at the FCO are they not?

    Darroch featured in one of Craig’s early posts.

    A class war?
    1 Aug, 2006
    Proving you can be a chinless wonder and an unpleasant bastard at the same time.

    One of the points I make in “Murder in Samarkand” is that part of the antagonism towards me in the FCO was class based – I went entirely to state schools.

    The FCO were quoted on Radio 4 on 28 July as saying that I was peddling an old-fashioned stereotype, no longer true.

    Here is the board of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2004, the year I was sacked as Ambassador. Several of this bunch appear frequently in “Murder in Samarkand”.

    Every single member of the board went to private school. (Despite the name, Leeds Grammar is a private school). Which explains a huge amount – including how they can look down their noses at dead children, and think “we must buy Israel more time to complete this.”

    Darroch’s name appeared in a list which Straw provided of the names of schools and universities attended by members of the FCO Board at that time.

    ‘Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who the members of the Departmental Board are, broken down by (a) gender, (b) race or ethnicity, (c) whether they attended public or independent school and (d) whether they attended Oxford University or Cambridge University; and how long each has been in post. [172117]’

    Nothing has changed at the FCO 14 years on.

    Darroch has been climbing the greasy pole at the FCO since 1976.

    • Habbabkuk

      Actually, Sharp Ears, Kim Darroch attended Durham University (something you omit to mention, of course). So your point about Kim was….?

    • Habbabkuk

      On reflection, perhaps Sharp Ears is trying to make the point that the British ambassador in Washington should set out to be as publicly offensive as possible to the future Head of State.

      Were that international relations were as easy as posting reams of guff on internet forums.

  • John Goss

    As I mentioned on a previous thread Israel has always stolen land taking it by force. When it first went into Palestine after the Exodus Joshua’s warriors dispossessed the villagers living in Jericho. Moses was not allowed into the so-called ‘Promised Land’ after leading the Israelites across the Red Sea and bringing down from the mountain tablets of stone on which were written ten instructions Israelis have continually ignored on a grand scale. Is it possible for Israel to live in peace with other countries? It is doubtful when revenge is the first recourse against countries who have brought it to task for not following its own laws.

    “Because, Macky, the State of Israel is a state where the law rules” writes Mr Habbabkuk.

    Netanyahu stealing land, murdering the inhabitants of that land, syphoning off dosh and then threatening war. A very unstable leader if ever there was one.

  • Hieroglyph

    Where I used to work, the outgoing staffers stole their keyboards, as a prank against the incoming new Government. Low level mischief, and quite funny, I thought. I was reminded of this when I saw the UN vote. Obama is said to have a somewhat tetchy relationship with Netanyahoo personally, and apparently has voiced mild criticism of Israel during the last 8 years. However, the US policy towards Israel has remained much the same, so it’s somewhat mysterious that Obama – for surely he must have ordered the abstention personally – decided to cause trouble for Israel. Given Trump is known to be super-pro Israel, it looks to me like Obama is stealing the keyboards, figuratively speaking. A prank, and a piece of mischief intended to make Trump’s life difficult, but not much more than that.

    And they are still banging on about Russia. I had hoped that Clinton would, y’know, just fuck off and retire, but she appears to be the main spokesthing for whatever outrageous lies the neocons want disseminating. I have come to view the corporate media as, basically, mind-poison, entirely, though slowly, deleterious to the mental health of the individual, and of society in general. Absorb in careful moderation.

    • John Goss

      “Absorb in careful moderation.”

      I broke my collarbone a week ago. Came off my bike. Second time I’ve broken one coming off my bike. First one was very painful. To get a good night’s sleep I carefully moderate my absorption of wine making sure it numbs any pain. 🙂 I’ll still be cycling for Palestine though come the summer.

      But Obama stabbing Netanyahu in the back might not be quite like you think. Politics is not like engineering or physics. It follows no laws or blueprints. An alternative, God-willing, is that it might be a present to the incumbent. They are all buddies. Hillary Clinton was at Donald Trump’s wedding. Perhaps the consensus is that it is unwise for the USA and its allies to continually kowtow to its Israeli puppeteers and Trump needs an easy ride in his early years. I do hope so, even though I fear the Iraeli government is unstable.

      Any thoughts?

  • RobG

    We all know that Israel is a rogue state (including the trolls, which is why they are paid to spew across comment boards).

    So if I may be permitted to change the subject – ever so slightly – does anyone here have any thoughts on ‘Pizzagate’?

    My own opinion is that if we were talking about Class A drugs here, instead of young children, the huge amount of circumstantial evidence would immediately lead to a full scale official investigation. But just like in the UK, when it comes to the sexual abuse of children it all gets immediately closed down, with the the presstitutes willingly obeying the Establishment. were at the forefront of investigating VIP peodophilia in the UK and have been completely closed down since the Summer (click on the link: the large number of news items have now all been completely wiped).

    One e-mail that’s being widely quoted in the Pizzagate stuff contains this:

    “I think Obama spent about $65,000 of the tax-payers money flying in
    pizza/dogs from Chicago for a private party at the White House not long
    ago, assume we are using the same channels?”

    The e-mail in question is not from the recent Podesta hack, but from the much earlier Stratfor hack and is dated 2009. What I mean is that there is undoubtedly a political motive from Trump supporters behind ‘pizzagate’, but at the same time I don’t see how anyone can look at it all rationally and not call for some kind of investigation.

    By the way, Julian Assange has still been MIA since October (just as the Pizzagate Podesta e-mails were hitting the fan). There’s been no real proof of life, despite what the likes of Craig have said, and despite a number of audio interviews. The Wikileaks Twitter feed is definitely compromised, as is the thing called ‘Wikileaks Taskforce’. Recent releases by Wikileaks are completely compromised, in that headers are completely missing from many e-mails, and hash codes don’t match.

    It’s very easy for those who might doubt what I’m saying: all Julian has to do is appear at the (bullet-proof) embassy window without tripping over that cat.

    Simple, non?

    • Kempe

      ” all Julian has to do is appear at the (bullet-proof) embassy window without tripping over that cat. ”

      It was the cat wot dun it.

    • John Goss

      “By the way, Julian Assange has still been MIA since October (just as the Pizzagate Podesta e-mails were hitting the fan).”

      This is twaddle unless you don’t believe Craig visited him at the embassy.

      • RobG

        John, I can’t now remember if Craig’s visit to Assange was shortly before or after Craig had a spell in hospital. I know it was all about the same time.

        It’s all a ball of wool.

        A timeline of sorts:

        Oct 7th: Podestamails leaks first batch.

        Oct 14th: John Podesta tweets “I bet the lobster risotto is better than the food at the Ecuadorian Embassy”.

        Oct 16th/17th: John Kerry visits the UK, personally pressures Equador to stop Assange from publishing documents about Clinton.

        Oct 16th: Wikileaks tweets SHA-256 prerelease keys.

        Oct 18th: Equadorian Embassy cuts off Assange’s internet access.

        Oct 18th: Pamela Anderson visits Assange and feeds him a vegan sandwich.

        Oct 18th: Witnesses photograph and report heavily armed police and vans outside Equadorian Embassy, are barred from approaching and have cellphones confiscated. Live feeds are cut off.

        Oct 18th: Fox News reports Assange will be arrested in a matter of hours.

        Oct 18th: made publicly visible, file dates/timestamps changed to 1984 (Orwell reference).

        Oct 20th/21st: Wikileaks tweets 5 tweets with misspelled words. The incorrect letters spell “HELP HIM”. The Wikileaks twitter has never made a spelling error, let alone 5 in two days.

        Oct 21st: Massive DDoS attack on US internet. Wikileaks tweets to imply the attack originates from its supporters, asking them to stop, no evidence supports claim.

        Oct 23rd: Wikileaks Tweets poll asking how best to prove Assange is alive (he still hasn’t appeared on video or at the window since).

        Oct 24th: Wikileaks Tweets video of Assange and Michael Moore recorded in June.

        Oct 26th: 4chan users successfully successfully decode their first message in Wikileak’s blockchain. Threads are instantly flooded by shills saying that it’s not worth looking into. The blockchain is blocked with fees and 43000 unconfirmed transactions appear in the mempool.

        Nov 6th: Huge DDoS takes down Wikileaks for first time in years.

        Nov 7th: Various entities notice hundreds of Podesta and DNC emails are missing from recent leaks, accessed with direct entry.

        Nov 8th: Trump wins.

        Nov 12th: Assange meets with Swedish prosecutor regarding rape allegations, lawyers barred from attending, meeting conducted via an Equadorian ambassador (not face to face)

        Nov 14th: Wikileaks releases insurance files, SHA-256 hashes do not match those tweeted in October.

        • John Goss

          If you listen to the interview with Sean Hannity above you will hear him talking about current events. Even mention is made of whether Craig should have gone public on RT about knowing the source of the email leaks being a US insider. Assange would not be drawn because of Wikileaks policy of protecting its sources.

          There are too many conspiracies without having to concoct them. 🙂

    • Hieroglyph

      Apologies for posting Guido, but I had genuinely been unaware.

      It appears Exaro is dead, I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t know. I stopped paying attention to Tom Watson, due to his treachery, and only intermittently looked at Exaro, but it’s patently been knobbled.

      If there is anything to Pizzagate, anything at all, there are disturbing times ahead in the US. I’m not really sure what to make of it, as I find it all hard to believe, personally. But then, if you look at the state of the US just now, it’s not so hard to believe that people with serious personality disorders are in charge at the highest of levels. I mean, Ash Carter seems happy to start WW3, ably assisted (they had hoped) by Clinton. Something quite wrong with that kind of thinking, I would surmise.

      • RobG

        Exaro won a number of prestigious journo awards, not only for their investigation into the paedo stuff, but also for investigations into corporate corruption.

        Now every single article has been wiped from their web site.

        This all happened earlier this year, while James O’Propaganda on LBC Radio was pretending to take an interest in Exaro, and while the presstitutes were doing an all out campaign to halt investigations into VIP paedophiles.

        Maybe you can ask James O’Propaganda Slime about it when he’s back on air next week.

        Remember, these people take a buck to cover up the rape and murder of children.

  • bevin

    Daud Abdullah has an article in this very subject (the UNSC Resolution) at The Palestine Chronicle.
    These thoughts are interesting.
    “….Upon admission to the world body, the new entity gave a solemn undertaking to respect the General Assembly Partition Resolution (of Palestine) and the status of Jerusalem contained therein. This included the requirement to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and land. Israel has repudiated these conditions. The UN is, therefore, well within its rights to suspend Israel from participating in all of its bodies and institutions, as it did with the South African apartheid regime in 1974 and the former Yugoslavia in 1992.
    After decades of burying their heads in the sand there is now a growing realisation among Western leaders that Israel’s exceptionalism is actually a destabilising factor, not only the Middle East but increasingly so in the West. Recent intelligence documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had warned in 2008 that “the Israelis remain a real threat to the stability of the region…”

    The likelihood is that a Trump Presidency will give Israel the additional rope that is needed for it to hang itself. It would be nice to think that The Donald had thought this out, but I doubt it.

    • michael norton

      The Berlin rampage was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, which released a video on Friday in which Amri is shown pledging allegiance to IS group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

      The fact that the chief suspect in the Berlin attack was able to return to Italy unhindered despite a Europe-wide arrest warrant has raised uncomfortable questions for intelligence agencies.

      The security lapse is particularly embarrassing for FRANCE,
      which the suspect was able to enter, travel across and leave,
      despite a STATE OF EMERGENCY .

        • michael norton

          TERRORISM Anis Amri in Chambéry … the same day as François Hollande – hallucinating

          Anis Amri was shot dead by Italian police in the night from Thursday to Friday. The Terminal of the Berlin Christmas Market ended in Milan. How did the 24 year old Tunisian come to Italy? What is known is that the Italian anti-terrorist services have found on him a train ticket Chambéry-Milan, dated 22 December. Yesterday in the train station of the Savoyard city, the atmosphere was tense. The SNCF agents had received instructions: no discussion with the press.
          A coincidence ?

          It must be said that Anis Amri was in Chambéry on the same day as François Hollande. The President of the Republic had come to inaugurate the new hospital and security had been considerably strengthened in the city, mainly on the route of the presidential procession. That the most wanted man of Europe may have passed by Chambéry precisely this December 22 may seem hallucinating. Is it pure coincidence, or did he know that the police force would be concentrated on the other side of the city when he passes this strategic point? According to our information, the anti-terrorist services recovered yesterday all the images of the video surveillance of the station. Before Chambéry, the journey of Anis Amri is still unknown. Did he simply pass through the station when he arrived with another train? Has he arrived in Savoy by other means and has he benefited from complicity? Last July, Savoy was marked by another terrorist attack. Abdel Malik Petitjean, one of the two perpetrators of the assassination of the priest who had been murdered in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray (Seine-Maritime), lived in Aix-les-Bains. The inquiry about Anis Amri will be tricky because the Berlin terrorist managed to cross France without hindrance.

  • Sharp Ears

    I notice that the troll’s ad hominem about me last night @ 21.35 stays up. It appeared in isolation, There was no previous exchange between him and me.

    Why oh why is this troll protected on here and why is the continued presence allowed?

    Don’t you just love the moderation on here.

    • Alcyone

      “Don’t you just love the moderation on here.”

      Yes, I do actually, of late it’s been actually quite alright. And did you wish, and thank, Craig’s team for affording you your tenancy here and for all their hard work, dealing with the good, bad and the ugly?

      If this is your life Mary, you are The troll through and through.

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