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Palestine Women on the Frontline of Upsurge in Violence

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Blowback – The Washington War Party’s Folly Comes Home To Roost – David Stockman/ContraCorner

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Exactly 26 years ago last week, peace was breaking out in a manner that the world had not experienced since June 1914. The Berlin Wall – the symbol of a century of state tyranny, grotesque mass warfare and the nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over the planet – had come tumbling down on November 9, 1989.

It was only a matter of time before the economically decrepit Soviet regime would be no more, and that the world’s vast arsenal of weapons and nuclear bombs could be dismantled.

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The French Republic taken hostage – Thierry Meyssan/Voltairenet.org

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The war which has now spread to Paris is incomprehensible for those French citizens who are ignorant of practically all the secret activities of their government in the Arab world, of its unnatural alliances with the Gulf dictators, and its active participation in international terrorism. These policies have never been discussed in Parliament, and the major media have rarely dared to take an interest in them.

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The Shadow of Algeria: the Lost Context of the Paris Attacks – Robert Fisk/CounterPunch

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It wasn’t just one of the attackers who vanished after the Paris massacre. Three nations whose history, action–and inaction–help to explain the slaughter by Isis have largely escaped attention in the near-hysterical response to the crimes against humanity in Paris: Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

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Israel studies director assaults Texas students – Ali Abunimah/Electronic Intifada

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Students at the University of Texas at Austin are calling for a professor to be investigated after he assaulted a group of students staging a Palestine solidarity protest.

The incident occurred just before a lecture on Friday promoting the Israeli military as an “offensive, daring, highly effective and initiative-driven army.”

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In light of the Paris attacks, is it time to eradicate religion? – Miroslav Volf/The Washington Post

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Paris is where a long trail of blood and tears, meandering through the centuries and from continent to continent, has now stopped — for a brief while.

The Islamic State has taken the responsibility for the 129 dead and more than 350 injured, almost 100 of them seriously. In Paris as in many other places, the hands that pulled the triggers of Kalashnikov rifles and pulled the fuses of bombs to kill the innocent people belonged to men and women in whose hearts burned the fires of religious zeal.

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Living in Pitiless Times: Baghdad, Beirut and Paris – Vijay Prashad/CounterPunch

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A week of horrible carnage – bomb blasts in Beirut and Baghdad and then the cold-blooded shootings in Paris. Each of these acts of terror left dead bodies and wounded lives. There is nothing good that comes of them – only the pain of the victim and then more pain as powerful people take refuge in clichéd policies that once again turn the wheel of violence.

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After Paris, a Grim New Reality in the Terror War – Dan De Luce/Foreign Policy

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The West thought it could contain the Islamic State. Now Washington and its allies are facing new pressure to destroy it.

The Islamic State’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris have exposed cracks in Western intelligence efforts and cast doubt on the underlying premises behind the U.S.-led war against the extremist group.

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Analysis: comparing Beirut and Paris bombing – Habib Battah/Al Jazeera English

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Just as innocent:  A Lebanese journalist asks why we categorise Lebanese victims as we mourn French ones.

Lebanon, Beirut – Because the Lebanese community is one of Australia’s largest and oldest immigrant groups, it was not entirely surprising to see Lebanon’s flag projected on to Sydney’s iconic Opera House as published by a local news site.

But that image of solidarity after last week’s Beirut bomb attacks proved to be a digitally altered fake, underscoring the double standard that lurks beneath the myth of global compassion for victims of such attacks.

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The best way for Americans to defeat the Islamic state is to end support for Jewish nationalism – Philip Weiss/Mondoweiss

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At last night’s Democratic debate in Iowa, Bernie Sanders responded to the Paris horror saying that we have to rid the earth of ISIS, that there’s a war for the soul of Islam, and the Muslim nations have to get their hands dirty too.

These belligerent and self-righteous statements were concerning because once again American leaders, and American Jews, are pure innocence when it comes to the religious dimension of the Middle East conflict. The hypocrisy would be appalling were it not so functional: the biggest impediment to both the reform of Islam and peace in the Middle East that Americans have the ability to remove is our support for a militant Jewish ideology that few Arabs and Muslims have ever accepted.

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Anonymous vs. the Islamic State – E.T. Brooking/Foreign Policy

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For nearly a year, a war has been unfolding in strange corners of the Internet. But can a bunch of hackers really take on the world’s deadliest jihadi group?

For John Chase, the breaking point came on Jan. 7, when al Qaeda-linked militants gunned down 12 people at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo. Subsequent attacks by a gunman affiliated with the Islamic State would take five more lives. Watching triumphant jihadi messages bounce across Twitter, the 25-year-old Boston native was incensed. They needed to be stopped.

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Bombing ISIS Into the Heart of Europe: the New Face War – Patrick Cockburn/CounterPunch

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The Islamic State (ISIS) has always massacred civilians in large numbers to show its strength and instill fear in its opponents. In the West, people notice these atrocities only when they take place on their own streets, though ISIS suicide bombers killed 43 people in Beirut on 12 November and 26 more in Baghdad on 13 November. These attacks are almost impossible to stop because they are directed against civilians, who cannot all be defended, and the bombers are willing to die in order to destroy their targets.
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Attacks in Paris Add Urgency to Talks on Ending Syria War – Julie Hirschfeld Davis/The New York Times

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Fares Cachoux

VIENNA — The top diplomats from more than a dozen countries agreed Saturday to press forward on an ambitious timetable to engineer a political transition and cease-fire in Syria, but remained deeply divided on major issues after a round of talks that gained intensity following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
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Syria’s President Assad says Paris attacks result from France’s aiding of rebels – Hugh Naylor/The Washington Post

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BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad suggested Saturday that French support for opposition forces in his country’s civil war led to Friday’s Islamic State-claimed attacks in Paris that killed at least 127 people.

In comments published by Syria’s official news agency, SANA, the embattled leader called on Western states to stop aiding “terrorists,” a term used by Syria’s government for all insurgent groups. France backs Syrian rebel groups and has been a particularly vocal opponent of Assad during the nearly five-year-old conflict.
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The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence – Chris Floyd/CounterPunch

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We, the West, overthrew Saddam by violence. We overthrew Gaddafi by violence. We are trying to overthrow Assad by violence. Harsh regimes all — but far less draconian than our Saudi allies, and other tyrannies around the world. What has been the result of these interventions? A hell on earth, one that grows wider and more virulent year after year.

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Can Obama Level with the People? – Robert Parry/Consortiumnews

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Exclusive: Another terrorist outrage – this one in Paris – is spreading fear and fury across Europe. Which makes this a key moment for President Obama to finally level with the American people about how U.S. “allies” — such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar — have been aiding and abetting extremists, reports Robert Parry.

The atrocities in Paris, killing more than 120 people, have brought forth the usual condemnations against terrorism and expressions of sympathy for the victims, but the larger question is whether this latest shock will finally force Western leaders to address the true root causes of the problem.

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“US made catastrophic mistake in Syria”, says former CIA asset and radio host

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The everyday violence of Israelis on Facebook – Robin Jones/The Electronic Intifada/Book Review

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Any social media user following Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza Strip last summer may have encountered the slew of cartoons published on the Israeli army spokesperson’s Twitter account.

Intended to justify indiscriminate bombing by portraying Palestinian civilian buildings as legitimate targets, these slickly designed pictures were just one iteration of Israel’s online efforts to stem the PR backlash against its attack on Gaza.

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Media beyond the mainstream: Syria’s information wars – Terry Burke/StarTribune.com, PLUS: A Rebuttal by MintPress

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After four years, many people are still confused by the Syrian conflict. It has in part become a proxy war, with many fighting groups and outside forces intervening. The path to peace isn’t clear. However, there is nothing proxy about Bashar Assad’s war against the Syrian people.

It hasn’t been adequately covered by the media, but Assad’s barrel bombs, starvation sieges and torture of thousands in Syria’s prisons are not directed at his military opposition. They are directed at civilians. As Human Rights Watch states, Assad’s “strategy is to depopulate these [opposition-controlled] regions and send a lesson to other Syrians that they will be attacked if the opposition takes their neighborhood.”

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“This is my roof” – Tales from the Settler Crypt

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A settler became tangled in barbed wire after he climbed on to the roof of a Palestinian apartment building in Hebron to remove two Palestinian flags, as seen in a video published on YouTube by B’Tselem.

The incident last Saturday began when a bearded settler, wearing Shabbat clothing – black pants, a white shirt and a large white skullcap – set up a wooden ladder and climbed up it.

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President Obama, recognize Palestine now! – Sam Bahour, Geoffrey Lewis and Nomika Zion/TheHill

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The absurd notion that, during his current trip to the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now signed on to a two-state solution after only eight months ago saying that he would never allow a Palestinian state to emerge is material for George Orwell’s book, 1984.
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In meeting with Netanyahu, Obama has foreign and domestic concerns – Steven Mufson/The Washington Post

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heil-netanyahu

President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week with an eye on two fronts: the chaotic Middle East and the domestic political campaign, where Democrats are eager to make sure that support for Israel does not become a partisan issue in 2016.

Both categories of concern point toward a more pragmatic and realistic approach to U.S.-Israel relations for Obama that could reassure a key ally in an unstable region and soothe uneasy Democrats who backed the Iran nuclear deal. The new calibration would deprive Republicans who opposed the deal of political fodder they can use against Democrats.
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Detroit Radio Show Booted by Pro-Israel Network for Blatant Antisemitic Broadcast – Ruthie Blum/Algemeiner.com

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White Lies and Roses logo

A satellite radio program in the United States was discontinued by its network earlier this month, following an antisemitic broadcast, The Algemeiner learned this week.

The program, called “White Lies and Roses,” was removed by the Salem Radio Network, a Christian syndicate with an illustrious line-up of American conservatives, including Bill Bennett, former secretary of education during the Reagan administration, and renowned Jewish pundits Michael Medved and Dennis Prager.
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Yes, Jews ARE the victims – of Zionist propaganda – Alan Hart/Veterans Today

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“And we’ll guard the border, day and night” – iconic Zionist poster

My headline takes me back 35 years to the day when I had a remarkably frank (honest) conversation in Tel Aviv with then retired Major General Shlomo Gazit, the very best and the brightest of Israel’s Directors of Military Intelligence. I put to him my conclusion that “It’s all nonsense.” I meant and said that contrary to the assertions spewed out by its leaders, Israel’s existence had never, ever, been in danger from any combination of Arab and other Muslim military force and was never likely to be. Through a sad smile Shlomo replied, “The trouble with us Israelis is that we’ve become the victims of our own propaganda.”

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EU sets guidelines on settlement products despite Israel ire – Raf Casert, Josef Federman/AP

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BRUSSELS — Relations between the European Union and Israel took a dive on Wednesday after Israel derided as “shameful” a decision by the 28-nation bloc to specially label products made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the EU has taken an “exceptional and discriminatory step” for “political reasons,” while Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon added to the condemnation by calling the move a “shameful step that grants terror a prize.”

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How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents – Morgan Strong/Consortiumnews

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America is Broke

FROM THE ARCHIVES: As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with President Obama, the mainstream media is asking who’s to blame for their chilly relationship. But the problem is not just personal. It goes to Israel’s longstanding efforts to out-fox U.S. presidents, as Morgan Strong described in 2010.

At the end of a news conference on April 13, 2010, President Barack Obama made the seemingly obvious point that the continuing Middle East conflict – pitting Israel against its Arab neighbors – will end up “costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”

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MSM and the Bear – Jabara Carley/Voltairenet.org

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I am a professor of history and I teach courses, amongst other topics, on Russia and the USSR. I try to explain to my students how Russians see themselves and their history, and how the Western Mainstream Media (MSM is the internet acronym) present Russia to its readers. Of course the MSM’s bull’s-eye is Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, but Russia itself is also a target.
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Refugee or Migrant?

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U.S. Spies Root for an ISIS-Russia War – Shane Harris, Nancy A. Youssef/The Daily Beast

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Six U.S. intelligence and military officials tell The Daily Beast that they hope an apparent ISIS attack on Metrojet Flight 9268 would force Putin to finally take the gloves off.

In the days following the crash of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268, which mounting evidence suggests was felled by an ISIS bomb, many U.S. intelligence and security officials weren’t panicking about ISIS unleashing a new campaign of attacks on civilian airliners. Instead, they were wondering how the bombing might hurt Vladimir Putin, and potentially help the United States.

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Israel’s Descent Into Jingoistic ‘Orgies of Feeling’ – Neve Gordon/The Nation

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The current popularity of snuff media encourages retribution against those considered responsible for so-called national injuries.

I  first understood that something had changed when I received a message to one of my WhatsApp groups saying “Gordon’s girlfriend.” This was followed by the snuff video of police officers shooting Asraa Zidan Tawfik Abed, a 30-year-old Palestinian mother from Nazareth. In the video, Asraa is surrounded by Israeli soldiers who are all aiming automatic rifles at her while she sobs and cries out. She clearly poses no threat whatsoever to those around her, and yet suddenly a police officer nonchalantly walks toward her, aims, and shoots, three times. Asraa falls to the ground, while someone in the crowd shouts, “Daughter of a whore!”

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