UN Sponsored Report on Israel’s Responsibility for Apartheid in relation to the Palestinian People

“Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Global Justice in the 21st Century

[Prefatory Note: Below is the text of a report co-authored by Virginia Tilley and myself, commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) that examines the argument for regarding Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ with respect to the whole of the Palestinian people, that is, not only those Palestinians living under occupation, but also those living as residents of Jerusalem, those living as a minority in Israel, and those enduring refugee camps and involuntary exile. The report concludes that Israel is guilty of the continuing crime of apartheid as it is defined in the 1973 Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The report reviews the evidence for such a finding, and offers recommendation for acting upon such a conclusion within the United Nations, by national governments, and by civil society. Upon the release of the report on March 15, 2017…

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Bashar al-Assad Interview Exposes “White Helmets”.

By Jerry Alatalo

ill “The White Helmets” Academy Award scandal soon become the #1 news, front page headline story worldwide? Could wide exposure of that scandal help turn the tide toward bringing the horrific Syrian conflict, finally, to an end?

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad granted an interview recently to a journalist from the Chinese Phoenix television channel. His response when asked to comment on Netflix’ film about the “White Helmets” winning the Oscar at the Academy Awards for Short Documentary should (if real news reporting exists) become worldwide headline news.

“First of all, we should congratulate Al Nusra for having the first Oscar – an unprecedented event for the West to give Al Qaeda an Oscar… This is unbelievable. The White Helmet story is very simple. It’s a facelift of Al Nusra is Syria, just to change their ugly face into a more humanitarian face. That’s it. You have many videos on the net, and of course images, broadcasted by the White Helmets that condemn the White Helmets as terrorist groups, where you can see the same person wearing the white helmet and celebrating the dead body of Syrian soldiers.”

“So, it’s a story just to try to prevent the Syrian Army, during the liberation of Aleppo, from more… from making pressure and attacking and liberating the districts within the city that’s been occupied by these terrorists – to say that the Syrian Army and the Russians are attacking the civilians, and the innocents, and the humanitarian people.”

While the scandal surrounding an Academy Award being bestowed upon a film about a war propaganda group called “The White Helmets” certainly merits global front page news, war and violence continues in Syria after six years of devastating conflict. The new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has sent Marine Corps soldiers and other “boots on the ground” to Syria, with the purported mission of taking control from terrorist group ISIS of their self-proclaimed “capitol city” of Raqqa in the northeastern region of the country.

Very serious concerns have arisen in the minds of experts, analysts and others about the sending of American soldiers to Syria. Foremost of those concerns is the potential for American soldiers and Russian and/or Syrian forces, either intentionally or by accident or error, to become involved in military exchanges which could escalate into a full-on major war.

The United States and Russia are major nuclear weapons powers, making it simple to understand why men and women around the Earth are greatly worried about escalating military conflict in Syria – about more war, which as history has recorded brings enormous negative consequences for humanity.

Bashar al-Assad stated: “We are very eager to achieve a solution.” His view of ending the long conflict has two fundamental pillars: 1) fighting terrorists and 2) making dialogue, in particular he emphasized conducting talks which are among Syrians only. Assad explained the reason his government participated in recent talks with groups representing nations and factions outside of Syria: the conflict has gone on for so long they are willing to take a chance on any opportunity to end it.

When asked about new U.S. President Donald Trump, Assad said that Trump’s rhetoric about defeating ISIS as one of his top priorities was hopeful, but then noted:

“We haven’t seen anything concrete yet regarding this rhetoric, because we’ve been seeing now certain different kinds of attacks, military attacks, military raids against ISIS which is local kind of phrase; you cannot deal with terrorism on a local basis, it should be comprehensive – it cannot be partial or temporary. It should not be from the air, it should be in cooperation with the ground troops. That’s why the Russians succeeded since they supported the Syrian Army in pushing ISIS to shrink, not to extend as it used to be before that.”

“We have hopes that this administration in the United States is going to implement what we’ve heard… Take into consideration that about ISIS doesn’t mean talking about the whole terrorism. ISIS is one of the products. Al Nusra is another product. You have so many groups in Syria, that they are not ISIS – they are Al Qaeda; they have the same background of Wahhabi extremist ideology.”

The Chinese journalist then asked, “You and Donald Trump actually share the same priority which is to counter terrorism, and both of you hate fake news. Do you see any room for cooperation?”

“In theory – yes. But practically, not yet. Because there’s no link between Syria and the United States on the formal level; even their raids against ISIS I just mentioned, which are only few raids, happened without the cooperation or consultation with the Syrian Army or the Syrian government, which is illegal, as we always say. So, theoretically we share those goals… but not yet.”

It is important to note that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has thus far had no personal contact with U.S. President Donald Trump.

After asked about the high-level meeting between military leaders of Russia, Turkey and the United States, Bashar al-Assad noted that Turkish leader Erdogan “…is Muslim Brotherhood” and has been supporting ISIS by using the Turkish border for years, that hopes have been raised with the new Trump administration, and that Russians are hoping Erdogan and Trump will agree on joining Russia and Syria to defeat terrorism. That said, Assad stressed that any foreign military forces on Syrian territory without permission from the Syrian government are, using his term, “invaders”.

“We are very close to Raqqa now.”

Interviewer: “How many days do you think this war is going to last?”

“We presume – that we don’t have foreign interventions – it will take a few months. It’s not very complicated internally. The complexity of this war is foreign interventions. This is the problem. So, now in the face of that intervention, the good thing that we gained during the war is the unity of the society. At the very beginning, many.. the vision for many Syrians wasn’t very clear about what’s happening.”

“…What we gained is this; this is our strongest foundation to end that war. We always have [unrecognizable] that ‘this year is going to be the last year..’, but at the end this is war – you can’t expect it. You can’t expect what’s going to happen precisely.”

“Have you thought of leaving this country for the safety of your family?”

“Never. After six years… I mean, the most difficult times past, it was in 2012 and 2013. Those times we never thought about it; how can I think about it now? It’s not an option. Whenever you have any kind of reluctance, you will lose – you lose not with your enemies, you will lose with your supporters. I mean the people you work with, the fighters, the Army… They will feel if you’re not determined to defend your country. We never had any fear, neither me or any member of my family.” 

Pray for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and everywhere on Earth.

(Thank you to PresidencySy at YouTube)

Amy Goodman: Interview Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Tulsi Gabbard And Elizabeth Kucinich.

By Jerry Alatalo

World Map1Alphabet Amnesty International (AI) released a controversial report recently on alleged horrors enacted in Syrian prisons which has generated profound debate, uncertainty and emotions. Persons going to YouTube and typing “Amnesty International Syria” will find the story was aired by virtually the entire world’s media outlets, with the greatest percentage presenting AI’s report as accurate and legitimate. Going to various reports and looking at their “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” statistics along with reading comments shows a hefty disagreement among viewers, where it looks like 2/3 of respondents express negative perceptions of AI’s report. In other words, most people are highly skeptical and don’t believe the report is honest.

It is perhaps impossible to convey how important it is to resolve whether Amnesty International’s report is “fake news” or based on reality. The report, obviously and fundamentally, is either accurate or it isn’t – but any and all questions about its veracity must become answered and/or resolved. The most worrying aspect of this report comes to the forefront when considering the possibility that those who created it, knowing they were making war propaganda, had the motive of manipulating global public opinion into acceptance of military escalation in Syria.

Military escalation in Syria would have dire consequences which most sane, reasonable, peace-loving people find utterly undesirable, even unthinkable, and for that reason one prays the report is proven fake. The calls for Amnesty International to provide publicly the evidence they profess to have, or don’t have, will grow more intense as days pass, still it is only logical to ask AI for any and all evidence when they make such important and hugely consequential claims.

Millions of people worldwide are familiar with the television network Free Speech TV, its program “Democracy Now”, and the long-time hostess of that program Amy Goodman. Besides attempting to increase awareness of the controversy surrounding AI’s Syria prison report, a major focus here is pushing for an organized internet-based campaign to force Amy Goodman to interview four women who have different perspectives with regard to Syria: independent journalists Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. All of these women have traveled to Syria and talked to a wide range of Syria’s people.

Ms. Goodman presented the Amnesty International report along with interviewing AI officials in recent days, and clearly shared with her millions of viewers worldwide that she, Ms. Goodman, believes the report is true. What we are proposing – urging – here is a worldwide campaign joined by millions who feel the AI report is war propaganda and extremely dangerous if left unchallenged, demanding Ms. Goodman interview the four respected woman named, to get to the absolute truth of the matter.

A gentleman and political scientist from Syria has responded to Amnesty International’s report by pointing out clear deficiencies in various parts of the content. Below one finds a video on this matter he produced and posted at his YouTube channel – “Syriana Analysis”. In it he describes how AI failed to double-check information and facts, and asserts AI is doubling as a propaganda tool for Western powers seeking “humanitarian” intervention in Syria.

He states, “Its (AI) report cannot be defined as an objective investigation”.

He goes on to say, “Most of the witnesses are identified as opposition figures and former officials who don’t live in Syria”. He points out that in the report there is not one instance of providing a “divergent point of view”, that AI’s numbers are not documented in lists or exhibits, and those numbers are “at best wild guesses”. He then shares that no details were provided about the persons killed, alleged by AI in an estimated number of from 5,000-13,000.

In response to AI claims of extrajudicial executions, he shows that the report itself refutes that claim; the report describes military judicial procedures and rules, and the necessary higher-up approvals of judgments. Further on he states, “The report doesn’t even meet the lowest mark of scientific or legal validity. It’s a pure biased propaganda”.

Please think about taking good action and contacting Amy Goodman via email, at “Democracy Now” YouTube channel or website, through discussions with family and friends, on Facebook, Twitter, etc., with personal blog posts, sharing this information, or any possible path(s) – and demanding she conduct the suggested interviews. In doing so – and if successful, the truth becomes known – you might be making a much, much larger contribution to peace in Syria and the world than you’ll ever know. Thank you.

World peace is possible.

(Thank you to Syriana Analysis at YouTube)