Plato's Guns

M i d e a s t    Newsstand

News Stand

Warnings of war as Israeli PM embarks on US visit – William Roberts/Al Jazeera English

by Newsstand

  Above caption: USA ties with Israel

Obama and Netanyahu seek to repair relations amid continuing Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Washington, DC – US President Barack Obama faces a difficult challenge as he prepares to meet Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House as a wave of violence sweeps Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Obama hosts an Israeli counterpart with whom he has a strained relationship and few practical points of leverage to address a situation that analysts and rights activists say may spin out of control.
Read the rest of this entry »

Preparing the Chessboard for the “Clash of Civilizations”: Divide, Conquer and Rule the “New Middle East” – Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya/Global Research

by Newsstand

(This article was first published by Global Research in November 2011)

The name “Arab Spring” is a catch phrase concocted in distant offices in Washington, London, Paris, and Brussels by individuals and groups who, other than having some superficial knowledge of the region, know very little about the Arabs. What is unfolding amongst the Arab peoples is naturally a mixed package. Insurgency is part of this package as is opportunism. Where there is revolution, there is always counter-revolution.

The upheavals in the Arab World are not an Arab “awakening” either; such a term implies that the Arabs have always been sleeping while dictatorship and injustice has been surrounding them. In reality the Arab World, which is part of the broader Turko-Arabo-Iranic World, has been filled with frequent revolts that have been put down by the Arab dictators in coordination with countries like the United States, Britain, and France. It has been the interference of these powers that has always acted as a counter-balance to democracy and it will continue to do so.

Read the rest of this entry »

How the U.S. and Israel Can Move Forward – Editorial Board/The New York

by Newsstand

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House on Monday will be his first meeting with President Obama in over a year, an unusual lapse in direct personal contact between the leaders of two allied states. Their broken relationship, caused in large measure by the Israeli prime minister’s vitriolic but failed campaign to kill the nuclear deal with Iran, make the circumstances awkward. But it is in the strategic interests of both countries to find a way to work together more constructively.

Read the rest of this entry »

When ‘Black Lives Matter’ is linked with ‘Palestinian Lives Matter’ – Colbert I. King/The Washington Post

by Newsstand

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went before a joint meeting of Congress in March to outline his opposition to a possible nuclear agreement with Iran, fawning lawmakers received him as Joshua, the conqueror of Jericho; Gideon, the wily military leader against Israel’s enemies; and Samson, the extraordinarily strong vanquisher of Philistines, all rolled into one.
Read the rest of this entry »

Zionism, Jewish Identity, and Political Jewry – Gilad Atzmon

by Newsstand

Part 2 of the seminar, filmed a couple of weeks ago in Gothenburg, Sweden:

Read the rest of this entry »

Obama gives up on Israeli-Palestinian peace during his Administration – Informed Comment

by Newsstand

step0002

OCCUPIED BETHLEHEM — United States president Barack Obama concluded that a peace treaty or direct talks between Israel and Palestinian leadership would not be carried out in his time left in office, a White House spokesperson said Thursday.

Israeli media reported that Obama’s senior adviser on the Middle East, Rob Malley, said in a press briefing that despite the failure to forge an agreement, Obama would still push Israel to forge a feasible two-state solution in the future.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Palestinian Davids will defeat the Zionist Goliath – Kevin Barrett/Veterans Today

by Newsstand

I was recently interviewed by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network about the new intifada in Occupied Palestine. Below is the transcript.

Gradually different dimensions of the Palestinian uprising are revealing themselves. What are the roots of the recent developments in Palestine?

The current outbreak of what looks to become the Third Intifada is rooted in the belligerent, uncompromising, expansionist and genocidal policies of the state of Israel, which have continued regardless of what the Palestinians do. We’ve seen the Israelis “mowing the lawn in Gaza” every few years, killing thousands of innocent civilians. We see ongoing brutalization of the Palestinian population that is clearly designed to make life unlivable for the Palestinians.  And this amounts to genocide, as professor Lawrence Davidson of West Chester University has said. He is from a Jewish background himself. And he is far from the only person from a Jewish background who recognizes that the current policies of the Israeli government amount to genocide.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Audacity of the Chinese Dream – Nathan Gardels/HuffPo

by Newsstand

BEIJING — The title of U.S. President Barack Obama’s pre-presidential biography is “The Audacity of Hope.” Chinese President Xi Jinping has written his own document released this week — The Communist Party’s 13th five-year plan — that might be titled “The Audacity of the Chinese Dream.”

Read the rest of this entry »

NY state senator pushes bill with teeth to combat BDS – Rebecca Shimoni Stoil/The Times of Israel

by Newsstand

Arguing that anti-Israel efforts create climate of anti-Semitism, Queens’s Michael Gianaris spearheads law to counter discrimination

OCCUPIED WASHINGTON — Penned in the shadow of a series of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City, a New York State Senate bill seeks to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Its sponsor, Democratic State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens, says that the BDS movement gives legitimacy to the kind of anti-Semitic incidents that New York has witnessed in recent weeks, and that his bill will “send a strong message that New York will stand against discrimination.”

Read the rest of this entry »

One State, Two State – Miko Peled

by Newsstand

Spiritually Rudderless – Robert Koehler/ Common Dreams

by Newsstand

Another deep cry, followed by a shrug. The world is at war, at war, at war. But it only hurts them, the helpless ones, the anonymous poor, who absorb the bombs and bullets, who bury their children, who flee their broken countries.

Sixty million people have been displaced by the current wars, the highest number of uprooted since World War II. But who cares?
Read the rest of this entry »

Washington prepares for World War III – Patrick Martin/WSWS.org

by Newsstand

The US military-intelligence complex is engaged in systematic preparations for World War III. As far as the Pentagon is concerned, a military conflict with China and/or Russia is inevitable, and this prospect has become the driving force of its tactical and strategic planning.

Three congressional hearings Tuesday demonstrated this reality. In the morning, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a lengthy hearing on cyberwarfare. In the afternoon, a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee discussed the present size and deployment of the US fleet of aircraft carriers, while another subcommittee of the same panel discussed the modernization of US nuclear weapons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Netanyahu: the Come Back Kid – Andrew Levine/CounterPunch

by Newsstand

After his second-place finish in the 1992 New Hampshire primary, Bill Clinton, the man in line to become America’s first First Sir, became known as the “Comeback Kid.”

Benjamin Netanyahu will soon earn that nickname too. When Barack Obama, and the leaders of five other world powers, prevented him from thwarting efforts to reach an agreement with Iran over its (non-existent) nuclear program, Netanyahu was humiliated, made to look the fool, handed his comeuppance.

Now, he is about to stage a comeback.   For this, like the Comeback Kid of yesteryear, he has mainly Hillary Clinton to thank.
Read the rest of this entry »

What’s the Big Deal Between Russia and the Saudis? – Pepe Escobar/Information Clearing House

by Newsstand

DOHA – Amidst the wilderness of mirrors surrounding the Syrian tragedy, a diamond-shaped fact persists: Despite so many degrees of separation, the Saudis are still talking to the Russians. Why?

A key reason is because a perennially paranoid House of Saud feels betrayed by their American protectors who, under the Obama administration, seem to have given up on isolating Iran.

Read the rest of this entry »

‘I Would Like to See Gaza Drown in the Sea’: Remembering the True Yitzhak Rabin, 20 Years After His Assassination – Max Blumenthal/Alternet

by Newsstand

The Israeli statesman was not the peaceful negotiator he’s now presented as.

At an election debate in 1988, Israeli statesman Yitzkak Rabin touted his achievements as the Defense Minister who enacted the “broken bones” policy to suppress the first Palestinian Intifada.

“They also know: 260 Palestinians were killed in the last two months!” he proclaimed to boisterous applause from his audience. “7,000 were wounded!” Rabin bragged. “18,000 were arrested!”

Read the rest of this entry »

How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel — and Benjamin Netanyahu – Hilary Clinton/Forward.com

by Newsstand

   Hilary Clinton as biblical Judith

We have recently marked the 20th anniversary of the assassination of then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, a good friend, a courageous warrior and a great statesman. This somber anniversary, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington on November 9, is an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds of friendship and unity between the people and governments of the United States and Israel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Assad’s Sunni Foot Soldiers – Thanassis Cambanis/Foreign Policy

by Newsstand

Russia and Iran’s intervention in Syria gets all the attention, but many in the country’s majority sect are still fighting for the government. They may hold the key to Syria’s future.

DAMASCUS -The assassins struck the one place they knew Mohammed Ghassan al-Alaby would brave the death threats to visit: his beloved cousin’s grave.

Mohammed and his brothers rarely left the alleys of Damascus’s Old City after al-Nusra Front, an al Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility for the murder of their cousin Ihab in the summer of 2012 and swore to kill them, too. The men of the Alaby family stood accused of betraying their sect: They are Sunni Muslims who had refused to join the anti-government uprising and instead were serving as guardsmen in a pro-government neighborhood watch group.

Read the rest of this entry »

America’s Middle-Class Squeeze-Out – Michael Winship/Consortiumnews

by Newsstand

The crushing of America’s Great Middle Class continues apace with new statistics on the soaring death rate among middle-age whites. But the pattern is also visible in Greenwich Village where middle-class life is being squeezed out by the luxury of the One Percent, writes Michael Winship.

The Chinese restaurant across the street from me – one of the last, reasonably priced joints in the neighborhood – closed last weekend. Their lease was up for renewal and the rent increased from $5,000 a month to $25,000.

Read the rest of this entry »

Leaked Emails From Pro-Clinton Group Reveal Censorship of Staff on Israel, AIPAC Pandering, Warped Militarism – Glenn Greenwald/The Intercept

by Newsstand

LEAKED INTERNAL EMAILS from the powerful Democratic think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) shed light on several public controversies involving the organization, particularly in regard to its positioning on Israel. They reveal the lengths to which the group has gone in order to placate AIPAC and long-time Clinton operative and Israel activist Ann Lewis — including censoring its own writers on the topic of Israel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Netanyahu’s craziness is calculated, to drive out Palestinians – Avigail Abarbanel/Mondoweiss

by Newsstand

Although Uri Avnery has been a long-standing critical of Israel and has been one of the first to promote dialogue with the Palestinians, he is still a Zionist. Because of that I have a lot of reservations about the things he writes. His piece from the 30th of October, ‘Is the Israeli Prime Minister Insane? Adolf, Amin and Bibi’ is a good example of why I feel this way. It is a perfect illustration of how someone who can be such a clear thinker in some ways, is also so blinkered by his innate and almost unconscious support of Zionism. This tendency to be so blinkered and so unconsciously so, serves to support the smokescreen that surrounds Zionism and its real purpose. It indirectly helps Israel and Zionism by distancing us from the real conversation we are supposed to have about Israel and Palestine, namely a conversation about settler-colonialism and its effects on the colonised.
Read the rest of this entry »

Why Obama and Hollande Are Right on Syria – Bernard-Henri Lévy/HuffPo

by Newsstand

Forget principles and morality. Forget, or try to forget, the quarter-million deaths for which Bashar al-Assad is responsible, directly or indirectly, since choosing to respond with violence to a peaceful uprising of the Syrian people. Set aside the fact that Assad’s forces have caused 10-15 times more civilian deaths thus far than the Islamic State, whose horrific execution videos have overshadowed the Syrian dictator’s invisible massacres. But even if you can purge all of this from your thoughts, a policy for Syria that posits Assad as an “alternative” to the Islamic State is simply not viable.

Read the rest of this entry »

War, Repression and International Gangsterism: U.S. State Policy From Benghazi to Baltimore – Ajamu Baraka/CounterPunch

by Newsstand

A mere two months after clashes between black youth and police in Baltimore following the murder of Freddie Gray while in police custody, President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the indictment of twenty-four year old Raymon Carter for his alleged involvement in the torching of a CVS pharmacy. The national government’s intervention into the case had an unmistakable message – if you engage in “unauthorized” forms of resistance – in this case, crimes against property – expect to confront the full power of the national government.
Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t look at Egypt through a British prism, warns Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – Con Coughlin/Telegraph, UK

by Newsstand

David Cameron will meet an avowed Anglophile when he welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for talks at Downing Street on Wednesday.

In 1990 the Egyptian leader spent a happy year undergoing officer training at the military staff college at Camberley.

“I have fond memories of how wonderful your country is from the time I spent there,” he told me during an exclusive interview at the presidential palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis. He even recalled how, at Christmas, he used papyrus paper he had brought with him from Cairo to make homemade Christmas cards, which he delivered to his Surrey neighbours signed simply: “With best wishes from Major Sisi.”

Read the rest of this entry »

How Richard Nixon Created Hillary Clinton – Sam Tanenhaus/Bloomberg Politics

by Newsstand

As a young lawyer, she helped investigate Watergate. For the First Woman of American politics, those chickens are always coming home to roost.

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony, in all its layered meaning, overpowers cogent analysis and even neutral description. It was unsettling, strange, riveting—and without any true precedent: A front-runner for her party’s presidential nomination, and the first woman ever to be a serious contender for the job, interrogated, often with unconcealed hostility, for the better part of a day, with breaks for in-studio score-keeping, followed by postmortems, and spin on all sides. Even as committee Republicans took hard hits—“disturbing” (David Gergen on CNN), gripped in “psychosis” (David Brooks on PBS NewsHour)—conservatives dug in: “Hillary Clinton is corrupt, and vomits up lies,” Mark Steyn said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program. “You can hear the contempt in her voice when she answers questions, she believes she is above questioning.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Song for Palestine – Roger Waters

by Newsstand

Judy Miller’s ghost lingers: Putin, Syria and how the New York Times cheers on a new Cold War – Patrick Smith/Salon.comSalon.com

by Newsstand

The propagandists have turned on the fog machine. Let’s try and sort out myth vs. reality with Russia, Middle East

We reach a moment in the four-year-old Syria crisis when it is vital for anyone who has not succumbed to our hobbling republic’s induced apathy to pay very close attention. And we reach a moment when this will be ever more difficult, as it has been in the Ukraine case for exactly two years this month. Events now come at us in a rush. So does the mis- and disinformation.

Read the rest of this entry »

George H.W. Bush rips ‘iron-ass’ Dick Cheney and ‘arrogant’ Rumsfeld in new biography: report – Raw Story

by Newsstand

Former President George H.W. Bush takes some unexpected swipes at Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, key members of his son’s administration, over their reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks, in a new biography of the 41st president, Fox News reported on Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Green Party Leader on her persidential candidacy, Israel and Palestine – Rabbi Michael Lerner/Tikkun

by Newsstand

Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, released a clear and comprehensive policy statement on Israel, Palestine and the Middle East on her website.  Jill Stein is the only American Presidential candidate to insist on a Middle-East policy platform grounded in international law, human rights, equality, peace, freedom and justice for everyone. She asks the right questions and provides brilliant answers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the Palestinian cartoonist Israelis accuse of incitement – William Booth/The Washington Post

by Newsstand

RAMALLAH, West Bank — He is one of the most popular Palestinian cartoonists working today. Israel’s media watchdogs say he promotes violence and demonizes Jews. He says that if his critics don’t like what they see in his mirror, they should end the military occupation and give him a state.

Mohammad Sabaaneh is a skinny, kinetic, bespectacled 36-year-old who likes to smoke cigarettes and draw. He is getting his master’s degree in conflict resolution. He spent five months in an Israeli prison.
Read the rest of this entry »

Israel blasts Palestinians after accusations of organ-harvesting | Reuters

by Newsstand

The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday rejected Palestinian allegations that Israel had recently harvested organs from Palestinians its forces had killed, condemning the charges as anti-Semitic.

In a letter to British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, president of the U.N. Security Council this month, the chief Palestinian delegate at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, described what he said was the alleged harvesting of body parts of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.
Read the rest of this entry »