Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kiev Declares War

Kiev Declares War

by Stephen Lendman

In mid-April, CIA director John Brennan went to Kiev. He did so quietly. He held secret talks. He met with Obama's new friends.

He came to plot war strategy. He wants Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters eliminated. He wants them slaughtered in cold blood.

He wants challengers to Washington's imperium crushed. After his visit, coup-appointed president Okeksandr Turchynov announced a northern Donetsk region "anti-terrorist operation."

To "protect the citizens of Ukraine," he claimed. To be conducted "stage-by-stage," he added. So-called "terrorists" are committe freedom fighters. 

They're Ukraine's best and bravest. They're putting their bodies on the line courageously. They're doing it for fundamental rights everyone deserves.

On April 19, Turchynov declared an Easter truce. Straightaway he broke it. He violated agreed on four-party conflict resolution terms. 

On April 23, he ordered special operations in Ukraine's East resumed. They never ended. Turchynov wants more.

"I demand that security services resume and conduct productive anti-terrorist operations aimed at protecting Ukrainians living in the east of the country," he said.

Putschist first deputy prime minister Vitaly Yarema announced a "relaunch(ed) active phase (of Kiev's) "anti-terror operation."

It's not yet underway, he said. "In the near future, appropriate measures will be taken and you will see results," he added.

"We have obtained the support of the United States, that they will not leave us alone with an aggressor," he said. "We hope that in the event of Russian aggression, this help will be more substantive."

Two bodies were discovered in Slavyansk. One allegedly was former parliamentary speaker Vladimir Rybak.

Self-defense force leader Vyacheslav Ponomaryov called discovered bodies a provocation. "Let's wait for the official identification and forensic medical examination results," he said.

Turchynov lied saying "terrorists who effectively took the whole Donetsk region hostage have now gone too far, by starting to torture and murder Ukrainian patriots."

He lied saying "(t)hese crimes are being carried out with the full support and indulgence of the Russian Federation." 

Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev. He addressed putschist legislators. He repeated one Big Lie after another.

"…(W)e want to be your partner, your friend," he said. "We stand with you. (It's) personal, an emotional commitment, as well, by millions of Americans," he claimed.

He vowed Washington will never recognize Russia's "illegal occupation" of Crimea. He called on Moscow to stop supporting "masked gunmen" occupying Eastern Ukrainian government buildings.

He warned of additional sanctions if "provocative behavior" doesn't stop. He lied claiming Russian special forces operate in Eastern Ukraine.

He claimed they promote unrest. They're involved in occupying government buildings, he said.

He ignored Washington's full responsibility for elevating illegitimate putschists to power. He was silent about neo-Nazis running things.

He said nothing about militant fascist extremism. He turned a blind eye to brazen US-manipulated coup d'etat illegitimacy. 

He praised his new friends. He pledged more US help. "You will not walk this road alone," he said. "We will walk it with you."

Deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes lied claiming "(i)nternational order is at stake. Our (Ukraine policy) is targeted at upholding the international order that we believe has been violated," he said.

He stopped short of explaining Washington's full responsibility. Blaming Russia doesn't wash. Sergei Lavrov was clear and unequivocal, saying:

"There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show" in Ukraine. He called Biden's Kiev visit no coincidence. He came at the same time Turchynov announced renewed "anti-terrorist" operations.

"It's quite telling they chose (this) moment," Lavrov added. Biden's visit followed John Brennan's days earlier. 

Russia will retaliate if necessary, said Lavrov. "If we are attacked, we would certainly respond." 

"If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law," he stressed.

Washington's Ukraine agenda relates solely to its imperial interests. It "doesn't show the slightest understanding of what is happening," said Lavrov.

It ignores root crisis causes. It offers irrelevant "ready-made solutions." Moscow will never fail to aid Russian nationals anywhere, Lavrov stressed.

"Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation," he said.

"Ukraine is just one manifestation of the American unwillingness to yield in the geopolitical fight. Americans are not ready to admit that they cannot run the show in each and every part of the globe from Washington alone."

Russia rejects illegitimate Kiev putschists. "In Geneva, we agreed there must be an end to all violence. Next afternoon, Turchynov declared almost a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot at the people."

On Tuesday, he ordered "anti-terrorist" operations resumed. Moscow rejects use of force throughout Eastern Ukraine and anywhere.

Separately, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby announced 600 US troops sent to Poland and Baltic states.

They'll participate in military exercises. They'll continue throughout 2014. Perhaps into 2015. 

Deploying US forces sends a strong message NATO allies, he said. Washington's commitment is firm.

"If there's a message to Moscow, it is the same exact message that we take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe," he added.

"Russia's aggression in Ukraine has renewed our resolve to strengthening NATO's defense plans and capabilities, and to demonstrate our continued commitment to collective defense in reinforcing our NATO allies in Central and Eastern Europe," he claimed.

At the same time, Finland agreed to a NATO Memorandum of Understanding. It involves maintaining Alliance warships and aircraft on its territory.

Defense Secretary Carl Haglund claimed doing so isn't a step toward NATO membership. "(I)n times of crisis, we are better qualified for receiving assistance from other EU countries, the Nordic countries and NATO countries," he said.

On April 22, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said:

"Moral pressure is being exerted and attempts are being made to convince the public that 'the Russians are bad' and they should choose an orientation towards European democracy." 

"They are talking about some kind of military-technological assistance, advisors and a larger number of joint exercises." 

"NATO pursues the sole task of driving a wedge between Russia and its allies, detaching us from one another."

"We can see that the alliance continues to mount its military presence near our borders." 

"They kept telling us about certain camps training soldiers and officers for missions in 'hotbeds' and 'semi-hotbeds.' " 

"Now it is not a secret that these military units of NATO will be permanent. Whatever they may be called – bases, contingents or formations – their meaning does not change. A military potential is emerging by the Russian borders."

"If anyone thinks that Russia will rush into a project as soon as NATO crooks a finger at us, this is a profound mistake to make."

Russia bashing continues relentlessly. Big Lies substitute for straight talk. The Washington Post headlined "In Russia, a Soviet revival grips leadership," saying:

"…(T)he Soviet Union is suddenly alive and well again in the minds of a giddy cohort of the Russian elite. Not the ideology, please - but the gravity, the cold-eyed assertion of power abroad and at home, and the allegiance demanded by the state."

A litany of lies followed. It's standard WaPo practice. A day earlier, its editors headlined "President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine," saying"

Russia "continue(s) to escalate. Its operatives and those they control have not withdrawn from the government buildings they occupy."

"For weeks, Mr. Obama has held back on forceful measures against Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine on the theory that a measured approach matched with diplomacy would yield results." 

"The policy has failed. Now Mr. Obama must act - or doom Ukraine to dismemberment."

Fact: Russian democracy shames America's sham version. It's more fantasy than real.

Fact: Russia has gone all-out to resolve Ukrainian crisis conditions responsibly. Washington's strategy is polar opposite. It bears full responsibility for what's ongoing

Fact: US-supported putschists have no legitimacy whatever. Eastern Ukrainians have every right to reject them. 

They deserve universal support. Don't expect WaPo editors to explain. Big Lies substitute for responsible reporting.

They proliferate recklessly. They risk escalating things out-of-control. They risk possible East/West conflict.

Washington deplores peace. It rejects diplomatic solutions. Ones agreed to aren't worth the paper they're written on.

Promises made are systematically broken. US strategy prioritizes controlling all former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact countries.

Ukraine is the crown jewel. In his 1997 book titled "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives," Zbigniew Brzezinski said:

"Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire." US control is prioritized. It's been so since Washington broke GHW Bush's pledge not to expand NATO East.

No encroachment on Russia's borders would happen provided Moscow let its former republics become independent. Former President Mikhail Gorbachev was lied to.

America's word is never its bond. Former Russian republics Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are NATO members.

Other Eastern European ones include Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.

Washington wants all remaining Eastern European nations co-opted. It wants them part of NATO.

US bases encircle Russian and Chinese borders menacingly. So-called missile defense systems intended for offense target them.

Neither country threatens America. Positioning strategic weapons near their borders shows Washington's real intentions.

The battle for Ukraine's soul continues. Washington is losing control. Michael Hudson believes it has "no means to follow through."

"The effect is to make the United States look like what Mao Tse Tung called it: a Paper Tiger. Having waved a big stick, the United States and its NATO satellites are now leaving Ukraine broke," he said.

"The aim of prying it out of the Russian orbit has left Ukraine heavily in debt to Russia for arrears in payments for gas (now no longer subsidized) and in danger of losing Russia as its major market for industrial exports." 

Business as usual continues. Saber rattling dares Moscow to respond. Cold War 2.0 rages. Recklessness defines US policy. Russia is wrongfully blamed for US lawlessness.

Vilifying its policies persists. Calling them a major danger doesn't wash. Putin prioritizes diplomatic conflict resolutions. Advancing America's imperium prevents it.

One crisis segues to others. Will Ukraine be Washington's undoing? Rodney Shakespeare suggests a possible "turning point in history." US hubris may precipitate its own downfall.

Is America's empire declining? Washington hasn't won a war since WW II. Militants battle for control in Iraq and Libya. US-installed puppet regimes are weak.

Over 12 years of Afghanistan's war resolved nothing. Nor will another decade of fighting if it continues.

Obama's proxy Syria war reflects failure. America makes more enemies than friends. Will Ukraine hasten Washington's decline? Will its grip on world power weaken?

Will current allies lose patience? Will they cut their losses and abandon partnering in America's imperial adventurism? Will Ukraine be the last straw?

Hindsight is the best foresight. The fullness of time alone will tell. Ending Washington's imperial rampaging can't happen a moment too soon. Humanity's survival depends on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Israel Wants Temple Mount Control

Israel Wants Temple Mount Control

by Stephen Lendman

The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank third in Islamic importance. They do so after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and Madina's Mosque of the Prophet.

Israel wants control. Naftali Bennett is Israel's Jewish Home Party leader, Economy minister, and Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs minister.

In February, he told the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations of plans for greater Israeli control over East Jerusalem.

"Unfortunately, the Temple Mount today doesn't allow for the full exercise of freedom of religion, and there is discrimination against Jews there," he said.

Knesset members debated establishing greater Temple Mount sovereignty. Arab world criticism followed. 

PA officials held an emergency session. A statement followed saying:

"If Israel continues this policy, it proves it does not want peace but continues to violate international laws and resolutions."

One-third of Jordanian parliamentarians urged annulling Amman's peace treaty with Israel. They called Israeli efforts for more Temple Mount sovereignty a clear peace treaty violation. It's "aggression against Jordanian custodianship," they said.

Jordan and the Jerusalem-based Islamic Waqf jointly administer the Temple Mount. They've done so since June 1967. Proposed Israeli changes bear full responsibility for unrest.

Its provocations are commonplace. In 2014 alone, the Al-Aqsa Foundation and Heritage reported 1,720 Israelis invaded the mosque compound provocatively.

Virtually daily they create one or more incidents. Most often they want to pray where they don't belong. They want to incite violence. They want Israeli security forces blaming Palestinians for their provocations.

Extremist Israeli rabbis want full control over the entire area. So do right-wing ideologues. It covers 144 dunums. It includes both mosques, an Islamic museum, a Sharia Islamic court and other facilities.

Palestinian worshipers remain inside the Al-Aksa Mosque compound to protect it. Israeli forces storm it belligerently all too often.

On April 17, they did so. They fired rubber-coated steel bullets at worshipers. Dozens were hurt.

Al-Aqsa Mosque director Sheikh Azam al-Kahtib said "about 1,000 Israeli officers stormed the compound." They used "live ammunition," he added.

Special forces deployed around the main gates since dawn. They blocked worshipers outside from getting in.

Ministry of endowment employees and students attending school inside were denied entry.

Security guards did so. So did men aged over 65. Several worshipers prayed in alleys outside.

Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld lied. He claimed peaceful Palestinians provocatively threw "stones and firecrackers" at police. They responded with rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades.

About 100 worshipers remain inside the compound day and night. They do so to protect it.

On April 20, Haaretz headlined "Temple Mount closed to visitors as police, Palestinians clash."

Hardline Jewish extremists bear responsibility. They want their rituals conducted where they don't belong. On Sunday, two Border Police were slightly injured.

For the first time, violence spread into the Old City's Muslim Quarter. Israeli security forces closed the Temple Mount. Doing so justifiably infuriated Muslim worshipers. According to Haaretz:

"Most incidents involve Jews attempting to access the area in order to pray or demonstrate a Jewish presence." 

"The growing strength of the Jewish Temple Movement and other organizations that seek to change the status quo on the Temple Mount has exacerbated these tensions, as has the crisis in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

Hardline Jewish extremists get US-based support. American Friends of LIBI provide it.

It's a 501c3 NGO. Pro-Israeli volunteers run it. "When you donate to LIBI USA, over 95% of your donation goes directly to support Israeli soldiers," they say.

It's an official IDF fund. In 1980, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin and then Staff IDF chief of staff Rafael Eitan established it.

The did so "to provide educational, religious, medical and recreational needs of Israeli soldiers."

On April 13, American Friends of LIBI headlined:

"BREAKING NEWS: This morning, after Palestinian and Arab rioters threw stones and Molotov cocktails on the Temple Mount, the police were forced to close the area." 

"Is it time for Israel to take control of the Temple Mount, end the violence, and open it to people of all religions? Click here to 

A photo shows "(m)asked Palestinian youths throw(ing) stones towards Israeli riot police during clashes following Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound on February 7, 2014."

American Friends of LIBI support institutionalized Israeli racism. "Time to…get the Arabs out," they asked? 

It bears repeating. The Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank third in Islamic importance. Zionist zealots don't care. 

They want Muslims denied entry to Islam's third holiest site. They want Jews allowed on sacred ground where they don't belong.

Israeli police lie. They claimed dozens of Palestinian youths provocatively threw stones and firecrackers at them from within the compound. Many were masked, they added.

Arrests followed. Dozens of Palestinians were injured. Dozens more arrested. Israeli initiated violence rocks the Temple Mount. It does so virtually daily. 

Palestinians are wrongfully blamed. Israeli zealots and security forces bear full responsibility.

On April 21, dozens of settler extremists stormed through Mughrabi gate. Israeli police protected them. They blocked Palestinian worshipers. They unsuccessfully tried entering the Temple Mount.

On April 21, an Israeli court exiled six Jerusalemites for varying periods. Izzideen al-Shaloudi, Malik al-Showaiki, Mohammed Romman, Ihab Ighbarieya, and Muhannad Atieya were targeted.

Israeli zealots target Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories. On April 18, they vandalized an Umm al-Fahm mosque.

They torched its front door. They spray-painted hate graffiti on its walls. They did so over the Passover holiday period (April 14 - April 22).

"Arabs out," they wrote. Friday's attack followed earlier ones. Investigations when held are whitewashed. Crimes go unpunished.

Palestinians are fair game. Radicalized Jews act with impunity. Israeli security forces do nothing to stop them. 

They encourage lawlessness by inaction. They do it with overt support. So-called "price tag" attacks describe retaliations relating to Israeli government actions limiting their political goals.

They occur with disturbing regularity. They're documented by time, type, location, number of injuries and/or deaths. They do so by settlements of origin. 

Israeli and collaborating Palestinian security forces do virtually nothing to stop them.

Ordinary Palestinians are left vulnerable on their own. They're in a virtual war zone. Israel is an occupying power. 

International law is clear. Palestinian security and safety come first. Israel ignores its mandated responsibility. Punishments don't follow Israeli crimes against humanity.

Separately, Nikolayev, Ukraine's main synagogue was firebombed on April 19. At the time, it was empty.

The synagogue's security camera recorded the incident. A passer-by extinguished the fire. In late February, Zaporizhia's Giymat Rosa synagogue was attacked the same way.

Jewish media selectively report these incidents. Western ones largely ignore them. Putschist controlled presstitutes turn a blind eye.

Last week, fake letters circulated to Donetsk Jews. They called on those over 16 to register. Failure threatened citizenship revocation, deportation and assets seized.

Jew baiting followed Kiev putschists usurping power. Racist hate is unstated official policy.

Ukrainian Jews nationwide have one thing alone to fear. They're targeted. They're endangered. 

Neo-Nazi putschists threaten them. Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters are wrongfully blamed.

Kiev putschists are fascist extremists. Svoboda Party and Right Sector leaders openly display neo-Nazi symbols and insignia.

Svoboda's slogan is "Ukraine for the Ukrainians." It earlier called itself Socialist-Nationalists. 

It bears erie resemblance to Hitler's National Socialism. It reflects fascism writ large.

Hooliganism is longstanding neo-Nazi policy. So is anti-Semitism. It's rife in Ukraine. Earlier Jewish populations suffered pogroms and other hate crimes.

Current ones are targeted in other ways. Svoboda Party head Oleh Tyahnbok once said Ukraine is headed by a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia."

Fascist elements openly display Celtic crosses. They reflect neo-Nazi white nationalist pride. The symbol 14/88 is prominent.

The 14 represents a white nationalist 14-word slogan. The 88 stands for 'Heil Hitler." "H" is the alphabet's 8th letter.

Black Sun occult symbolism is used. Allegedly it was drawn for Heinrich Himmler from an old Aryan emblem. It represented inner-circle SS power.

It united three important Nazi ideological symbols - the sun wheel, the 12 SS Knights of the Order of the Death's Head, and their three retainers.

Red and black flags are openly displayed. Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera featured them. He participated in mass executions and ethnic cleansing.

He wanted Ukraine made ethnically pure. Mass extermination followed. Current Ukrainian neo-Nazis have their own methods.

Bandera's legacy thrives in Ukraine today. His present day counterparts get open US support.

Repressive power politics dominates America, Israel and Ukraine. State terrorism reflects official policy. 

Anyone challenging state power is targeted. Coverup and denial claim otherwise. 

These countries aren't fit to live in. They're unsafe. Fascist hardliners run them. They threaten world peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PLO/Hamas Detente?

PLO/Hamas Detente?

by Stephen Lendman

Reports announced it. Previous efforts failed. We've been here, done that several several times before. Is this time different? 

It remains to be seen. On April 23, Haaretz headlined "Palestinian factions prepare to implement reconciliation deal." 

Mounib Al-Masri headed Abbas' negotiating team. "There has been great progress, and we are near ready to sign a deal at 11AM" local time, he said.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahawiri issued a similar statement. A formal announcement followed. Maan News headlined "PLO/Hamas announce agreement to end political division," saying:

"PLO and Hamas representatives announced an historic unity deal on Wednesday to bring to an end more than seven years of political division between the main Palestinian political parties."

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced "the end of years of Palestinian political division in a press conference in Gaza City…"

He said both sides worked as "one team." They did so "to form one government, one political system and one national program." 

We're "happy to declare the end of the period of inter-Palestinian division," he added. All sides stressed the need to achieve results after repeated failures.

Palestinian People's Party (PPP) secretary general Bassam al-Salili said agreement was reached on a "road map plan." 

It begins with establishing national unity. In six months or less, presidential and parliamentary elections will follow.

In April 2011, both sides met earlier. They did so in Cairo. They announced a draft reconciliation agreement.

Egypt's MENA news agency confirmed "a complete understanding after talks on all the points, including the formation of a transitional government with a specific mandate and setting a date for elections." 

Hamas official Izzat Ar-Rishiq said differing issues between both sides were resolved.

Fatah's delegation head, Azzam Al-Ahmad, confirmed it. Both sides agreed to a "government of independents," he said. 

They'll be "tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year."

Palestinian groups welcomed the announcement. PLC deputy head Ahmad Bahar called it "historic." Hamas said it broke new ground. 

Reconciliation didn't follow. Agreed on terms were ignored. A similar Doha 2012 agreement followed. Announced national unity governance wasn't consummated. 

Netanyahu reacted as expected. He demanded Abbas "choose between peace with Israel or peace with Hamas." 

"There cannot be peace with both because Hamas strives to destroy the state of Israel and says so openly," he said.

"I think that the very idea of reconciliation shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and creates the prospect that Hamas could retake control of Judea and Samaria just like it took control of the Gaza Strip."

More below on his reaction this time.

It bears repeating. Is this time different? There's good reason for doubt based on past failures. Agreed on terms largely reflect what Cairo and Doha negotiators resolved.

Both sides agreed to reactivate the Palestinian Legislative Council. Some issues remain to be discussed. They include who'll control Hamas' security forces.

Ahead of general elections, Hamas agreed to temporary PLO leadership. It'll represent all Palestinian groups. They include Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Talks will continue. Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said neither side accepts resuming so-called peace talks without clear guidelines. More on this below.

On April 23, Netanyahu cancelled Wednesday's scheduled peace talks, saying:

"This evening, when talks are still underway to extend negotiations, (Abbas) has chosen Hamas over peace. Whoever chooses Hamas does not want peace."

Netanyahu told John Kerry: "We view this move as a return to the familiar pattern of the Palestinians who run away every time they need to make decisions."

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett rejected what he called a "unity government of terror," adding:

"Hamas will continue to murder Jews and (Abbas) will continue to demand their release. Whoever thinks (he's) a partner should think again."

Defrocked/reinstated Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed Netanyahu and Bennett, saying:

"The signing of an agreement for a Fatah-Hamas unity government means the end of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."

Chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni lied saying reconciliation harms "the opportunity (for peace) that has just opened up." 

"In light of the new situation, Israeli must examine what this development means and reconsider its steps."

Since talks began last July, nothing substantive was resolved. Both sides are as far apart as ever. Chances for peaceful conflict resolution are virtually NIL.

An unnamed senior US official said:

"We have been clear about the principles that must guide a Palestinian government in order for it to play a constructive role in achieving peace and building an independent Palestinian state." 

"Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, including the Roadmap. President Abbas has been committed to these principles."

"If a new Palestinian government is formed, we will assess it based on its adherence to the stipulations above, its policies and actions, and will determine any implications for our assistance based on US law."

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the announcement "troubling."

"It is hard to see how Israel will negotiate with a government that does not recognize its right to exist." 

"The Palestinian reconciliation deal raises concerns and could complicate the efforts to extend peace talks."

"The ball is in the Palestinian court to answer questions about how government announcement affects peace talks."

Abbas said unity with Hamas doesn't affect peace talks. He stipulated terms for continuing them. He said for nine more months if negotiations include:

  • borders discussed immediately for three months;

  • a complete settlement construction freeze throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and 

  • release of 30 more agreed on pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners; 14 are Israeli citizens.

An unnamed senior Israeli official categorically refused. Settlement construction will continue, he said. Borders are separate from other core issues, he claimed.

They include diaspora Palestinians right to return, Jerusalem's status, security and mutual recognition, he said.

"It is impossible to define borders before an agreement" on these and other issues, he added.

"At the same time, (Abbas) makes unfounded declarations of peace, (he's) holding talks with Hamas - which is known to the whole world as a terror organization that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and the murder of Jews."

False! Earlier, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin pledged to end its struggle in return for Palestinian self-determination inside pre-1967 borders. 

It represents 22% of historic Palestine. Israel flatly refuses. It wants all valued Judea and Samaria land annexed. It wants Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It offers Palestinians virtually nothing in return.

Likud hardliner Ofir Akunis called Abbas "Arafat in disguise. Palestinian leadership…changed only in tone, not in content," he said.

"Underneath the diplomatic sweet talk hides an extremist leadership whose face is not turned toward peace or an agreement, but toward endlessly extorting the release of murderers, concessions and retreats by Israel - as conditions just for the holding of negotiations."

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin said the PA "once again has exposed the true unity of purpose between Hamas terrorists and the Fatah leaders - the annihilation of the Jewish state."

"One should not be surprised that those who refuse to even discuss recognition of the Jewish state in any borders whatsoever, and pays huge salaries to Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis and are doing time in Israeli jails, finally found his natural place in the warm embrace of the Hamas murderers."

In July 2000, so-called "permanent status" talks were held. Clinton hosted Arafat and then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Media scoundrels lied. They called an offer designed to be refused a "generous (and) unprecedented" one.

Barak was hardline. He insisted Arafat agree, declare an "end of conflict," and end any legal claim to land rightfully belonging to Palestinians.

No Israeli offer in writing was presented. No documents. No maps. Arafat had no choice. He rejected Barak's duplicitous offer.

He became persona non grata. He was a marked man. He was targeted for elimination. 

Israel lay siege to his compound. Most of it was destroyed. On November 4, 2004, he died in a Paris hospital.

Suspicions of foul play surfaced. Evidence showed he was poisoned. Polonium was used to kill him. 

It's around 109 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. Its main hazard is radioactivity. It's most lethal when ingested or inhaled. It's hard to detect. 

Israel bore full responsibility. Will Abbas be targeted the same way? Will Hamas leaders?

Rogue states operate this way. Targeted assassinations are longstanding Israeli policy. Rule of law principles are systematically violated.

Peace is a convenient illusion. Israel deplores it. So does Washington. Unconditional Palestinian surrender is demanded.

Will PLO/Hamas reconciliation matter if it's consummated? Will Israeli tactics change? 

It takes a giant leap of faith to think so. Palestinians remain on their own for justice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

US Threatens Russia

US Threatens Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Washington bears full responsibility for elevating illegitimate fascist putschists to power. Doing so reflects another sordid chapter in US history. For sure, it won't be the last.

Bullying, bluster and threatening ultimatums define US policy. John Kerry warned Sergei Lavrov. 

Moscow has "days, not weeks," to assure Ukrainian four-part agreement terms are implemented. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki repeated his threat, saying:

"The secretary urged Russia to take concrete steps to help implement the Geneva agreement, including publicly calling on separatists to vacate illegal buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty and address their grievances politically."

"He also called on Russia to assign a senior diplomat to work with the OSCE mission in eastern Ukraine to make absolutely clear to the separatists that Russia supports the agreement and wants de-escalation."

"The Secretary also made clear that Russia’s recent public statement casting doubt on Ukraine's commitment to the Geneva agreement flies in the face of the facts." 

"The Government of Ukraine put forward a broad amnesty bill for separatists to give up buildings and weapons, and has sent senior representatives to the east with the OSCE to help implement the agreement, and had called an Easter pause in its counterterrorism operations." 

"He asked that Russia now demonstrate an equal level of commitment to the Geneva agreement in both its rhetoric and its actions." 

"As noted in Geneva, without implementation, the joint statement is only a piece of paper, and what is needed is true de-escalation."

"The Ukrainians have taken steps. The Russians have to take additional steps." Otherwise, they'll be "consequences for inaction."

Fact check

Kiev putschists deployed neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs. They did so to Eastern Ukraine. They unleashed violence. They violated Easter truce terms straightaway. 

Deescalation is a convenient illusion. Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Rogue EU nations partner in crime.

Cold War 2.0 rages. At stake is world peace. A potential East/West confrontation looms.

Washington wants all rival governments eliminated. It wants pro-Western stooge ones replacing them. It wants unchallenged worldwide dominance. It risks possible global conflict in the process.

Psaki didn't explain. She irresponsibly blamed Russia for US imperial adventurism. It persists relentlessly. Core international, constitutional and US statute laws are violated.

Ukraine is in the eye of the storm. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow. Targeting Russia raises the stakes.

Sergei Lavrov is a consummate diplomat. He shames his US counterpart. Washington should take responsibility for its actions, he said.

"Before giving us ultimatums, demanding that we fulfill demands within two or three days with the threat of sanctions, we would urgently call on our American partners to fully accept responsibility for those who they brought to power," he stressed.

Threatening Russia with consequences won't work, he added. It's "big, independent (and) power(ful)…(It) knows what it wants."

Washington, rogue EU partners and Kiev putschists lie. They "invent possible and impossible arguments against Russia," Lavrov said.

Claiming Russian arms in Eastern Ukraine proves Moscow interference doesn't wash. Saying so is "ludicrous. Everybody has Russian arms in Ukraine."

At the same time, illegal Ukrainian elements have US weapons, not Kiev's military.

Putschist "authorities are doing nothing, not even lifting a finger, to address the causes behind this deep internal crisis in Ukraine,"  Lavrov stressed.

They violated four-party agreement terms straightaway. Days earlier, CIA head John Brennan arrived in Kiev. He came with US administration instructions.

Wage war on Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters, they were told. Putin warned of potential "civil war."

So did Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Putschists launched violence, he said.

"The illegal rulers are trying to restore the order they cynically trampled on when they participated in an armed uprising," he added.

They deployed military forces east. They unleashed Right Sector neo-Nazis thugs. They lied claiming otherwise.

According to Lavrov, they're "running the show" in central and Western Ukraine. They're "trying to affect eastern regions."

Kiev putschists claim Maidan "act(s) legally which is totally inadmissible." Attacking Slavyansk activists shows Kiev want four-party agreement terms derailed, Lavrov said.

"The fact that extremists started to shoot at unarmed civilians is unacceptable." At the same time, putschists target foreign journalists.

Some are blocked. They're denied permission to enter Ukraine. Others are threatened, harassed and arrested. So are Southeastern Ukrainian activists. 

Police states operate this way. Ukraine is one of the worst. Order must be restored, said Lavrov. Real constitutional reform is essential. 

So far it's nowhere in sight. Extremism as well as ethnic and religious intolerance continue. 

Illegally armed groups operate freely. They do so extrajudicially. They rampage with impunity. They threaten anyone challenging them. They shoot to kill.

Russia won't allow civil war in Ukraine to erupt, said Lavrov. "There has been a surge in appeals to Russia for saving them from this outrage." 

"We are being put into an extremely complex position," he added.

"Those who are deliberately pursuing a civil war, possibly, in an attempt to start a big, serious bloody conflict, are pursuing a criminal policy." 

"And we will not only condemn this policy but will also stop it," he stressed.

"Geneva agreements on Ukraine specify no timeframe, but measures should be taken urgently." Putschists haven't done so, said Lavrov. 

"Everything points to the fact that (they) are not able to control extremists, or do not want to control them." 

"The main thing now is to prevent any kind of violence in Ukraine. It is the first clause of the Geneva agreements, the first requirement." 

"This part of the Geneva agreement is not fulfilled, but on the contrary, steps are taken by (Kiev putschists) in violation of" its terms.

"We are concerned that instead of confirming the responsibility for the situation, Kiev and the West-European countries are trying to make Russia responsible."

Claiming four-party agreement terms don't apply to Maidan is "absolutely acceptable," Lavrov added.

Obama dispatched Vice President Joe Biden. He arrived in Kiev. He did so to meet with his new friends. He expressed full US support.

Washington will help its "leaders" create national unity, he said. They face "humiliating threats" and "daunting problems," he added.

He called planned sham May elections the most important in Ukraine's history. They'll be farcical when held. Biden didn't explain.

He came for a victory lap. It's for Obama's latest imperial trophy. If he can hold it, a previous article explained. 

Eastern Ukrainians reject Kiev putschists. They want their legitimate rights respected. They want local autonomy. They're going all-out to get it legitimately.

On April 21, Voice of Russia headlined "Biden to test US face-saving retreat plan for Ukraine," saying:

He'll "explore the possibilities for Washington's face-saving exit from its foreign policy catastrophe in the country…"

Rostislav Ishchenko heads the Kiev-based Centre for Analysis and Prognosis. Washington's failure in Ukraine necessitates a retreat without losing face, he said.

Biden arrived with a mandate. It's "to cover up (America's) retreat." Kiev can't "suppress" Eastern Ukrainian activists. It won't fulfill four-party deal terms.

Biden came to make the best out of a bad situation. Putting lipstick on this pig won't work.

Fascists running Kiev can't hide their extremism. Big Lies don't wash. Washington is public enemy number one. 

Kiev putschists are convenient stooges. They have no legitimacy whatever. Eastern Ukrainians reject them. They do so responsibly. 

Perhaps Western ones will join once their full agenda is implemented. Repression and neoliberal harshness reflect it. People take only so much before rebelling.

Scoundrel media lie. New York Times misinformation is scandalous. Russia bashing repeats daily. On April 21, The Times headlined "Russia Displays a New Military Prowess in Ukraine's East," saying:

It "combine(s) cyberwarfare, an energetic information campaign and the use of highly trained special operation troops to seize the initiative from the West."

It "project(s) power in the 'near abroad.' " It "road-tested" strategy in Crimea. It combines "hard and soft power."

"For its intervention in Crimea, the Russians used a so-called snap military exercise to distract attention and hide their preparations." 

"Then specially trained troops, without identifying patches, moved quickly to secure key installations. Once the operation was underway, the Russian force cut telephone cables, jammed communications and used cyberwarfare to cut off the Ukrainian military forces on the peninsula."

Moscow "sen(t) small, well-equipped teams across the Ukrainian border to seize government buildings that could be turned over to sympathizers and local militias."

"Police stations and Interior Ministry buildings, which stored arms that could be turned over to local supporters, were targeted."

"The Kremlin has used its military deployment to buttress its diplomatic strategy of insisting on an extensive degree of federalism in Ukraine, one in which the eastern provinces would be largely autonomous and under Moscow’s influence."

Fact check:

You can't make this stuff up. Times reports read like bad fiction. No evidence whatever supports its claims. They're manufactured out of whole cloth. They lack credibility.

At the same time, daily content is silent about Washington elevating illegitimate putschists to power. The Times supports them. It pretends they're democrats.

Readers are systematically lied to. Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. 

America's imperial rampaging continues. Times correspondents, contributors and editors support it.

All so-called news fit to print is rubbish. Readers are on their own to learn truth. Times management excludes it from daily content. Doing so is longstanding editorial policy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Outrageous Pro-Kiev Op-Ed

Outrageous Pro-Kiev Op-Ed

by Stephen Lendman

Haaretz editors published it. They know better. They shame their US counterparts. They feature writers excluded from their pages. 

Western ones substitute propagandists. They're illegitimate. They lack credibility. They masquerade as journalists. US media feature them prominently. Readers are systematically lied to.

Hennadi Nadolenko is Kiev's ambassador to Israel. He represents illegitimate fascist putschists. 

Haaretz editors gave him feature op-space. Doing so was shamelessly irresponsible.

Nadolenko took full advantage. He headlined "Nobody wants a war, but Ukraine is fighting back."

"Russia thinks it has found foolproof methods, but a lie is a lie and aggression is aggression. The evidence is everywhere."

None whatever exists. Lies, damn lies and misinformation substitute. More on what Nadolenko said below. A stiff antacid dose would help before reading it.

On June 29, 2010, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych appointed Nadolenko Ukraine's ambassador to Israel. 

He betrayed his country disgracefully. He supports illegitimate fascist putschists. He's a longtime foreign service officer.

From 2007 - 2010, he was Embassy of Ukraine to the USA trade and economic mission head.

From 2006 - 2007, he was Secretariat of the President of Ukraine information strategies/information service department head.

From 2005 - 2006, he was Secretariat of the President of Ukraine deputy information service head.

From 2004 - 2005, he was Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) department of information technologies acting head counsellor.

From 2003 - 2004, he was MFA information technologies head counsellor.

From 1998 - 2003, he was Embassy of Ukraine to the USA second first secretary.

Earlier in 1998, he was MFA department of international organizations third secretary.

From 1996 - 1998, he had other MFA Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine duties.

In 1996, he was MFA department of European and American countries third secretary.

From 1994 - 1996, he was MFA department of European and American countries division of the USA and Canada attache.

Lies infested his Haaretz op-ed. "I would like to share with you the Ukrainian position," he said. 

"After the 'Anschluss of Crimea,' the Kremlin went over to a second stage of the war on Ukraine by starting a covert operation in the country's east."

"Russia is sticking to the same routine as in Crimea. First, it is deploying professional military and mercenaries on Ukrainian territory." 

"Second, it is paying local radicals and criminals to pose as 'pro-Russian forces.' Third, it is trying to make the events look like turmoil stoked by ordinary people."

"But it doesn't look like that at all. Unlike the December-February Euromaidan protest movement in Kiev, this is not a domestic uprising but full-blown foreign aggression against Ukraine."

"There is valid proof that special-operations groups are being deployed on the ground. These are not Ukrainians. They are professional Russian mercenaries waging a war on Ukrainian territory."

"Saboteurs with Russian citizenship are being apprehended throughout Ukraine. This and other evidence, including intercepted radio traffic, confirm that these are foreigners, invaders.

Fact check:

Crimean reunification with Russia was no "Anschluss." Crimeans voted overwhelmingly for it. Nearly 97% did so. Turnout was 83%.

So-called Kremlin Eastern Ukrainian overt or covert operations don't exist. No evidence suggests otherwise. Claiming it changes nothing.

Radicalized elements arrived from Kiev. Putschists deployed them. They did so to incite violence. No Russian forces are involved.

Claiming Euromaidan protests were legitimate doesn't wash. Ousting democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was the most brazen overt coup since Mussolini's 1922 march on Rome.

Nadolenko supports it. He's conspiratorially involved. Claiming Eastern Ukrainian activists have no legitimacy denies their freedom-fighting rights.

Calling them "(s)aboteurs with Russian citizenship" doesn't wash. Nor claiming they're being "apprehended throughout Ukraine."

It bears repeating. So-called evidence doesn't exist. Big Lies substitute. They infested Nadolenko's op-ed. Haaretz editors disturbingly published them. Due diligence was noticeably absent.

Ukraine isn't "fighting back." It's waging war on freedom. It wants illegitimate fascist rule institutionalized. It wants ordinary Ukrainians exploited. 

It wants state enterprises handed to Western corporations at fire sale prices. He wants them free to loot state resources. It's cracking down hard on resisters. 

Police states operate this way. State terrorism reflects official Kiev policy. So-called "anti-terrorist operations" target freedom-loving Ukrainians.

"We hope the multilateral agreement in Geneva on April 17 between Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union will promote the stabilization of the situation in Ukraine," said Nadolenko. 

"We are eager to find a peaceful solution through diplomatic dialogue to ease the tension between Ukraine and Russia."

Kiev putschists violated Geneva agreed on terms straightaway. They unleashed violence. They reject resolving things diplomatically. 

They lied claiming otherwise. They enjoy full US support. One fascist regime backs another. They're partners in crime. 

Don't expect Nadolenko to explain. Or Haaretz editors for publishing his rubbish. It doesn't pass the smell test and then some. It's polar opposite truth.

It ignores what begs to be explained. Not least is virulent anti-Semitism. Haaretz editors owe their readers an explanation. It's sorely lacking.

Nazi anti-Semitism raged. Neo-Nazis operate the same way. They infest Kiev. They hold real power. 

Illegitimate president Olexander Turchynov's Fatherland chairmanship reveals his hate-mongering agenda. Self-appointed prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is a Fatherland party leader.

Other neo-Nazis include parliamentary members. So do ones controlling powerful ministries. 

Neo-Nazi Andriy Parubiy co-founded Ukraine's Social National party. He did so with neo-Nazi Oleh Tyahnybok. It's now called Svoboda.

Both figures wield enormous influence. Parubiy heads Kiev's powerful National Security and Defense Council. 

Tyahnybok heads Svoboda. He chose no portfolio after putschists seized power. Perhaps he has greater aspirations in mind.

Other neo-Nazis dominate policymaking. Obama's new friends are ideological extremists. They represent mob rule. They tolerate no opposition. They're militantly anti-Semitic.

Coverup and denial can't hide it. Eastern Ukrainians highlight it. Putschists target Ukrainian Jews repressively. They number around 200,000. 

Most live in Kiev. They include family members of holocaust survivors. Nightmarish conditions could return. History has a disturbing way of repeating.

Many fear for their safety for good reason. Some plan leaving. Threats were made. Synagogues were torched. Jewish shops were vandalized.

Israel remains silent. Haaretz turns a blind eye. So do other Israeli media. US ones are worst of all. AIPAC ignores what's happening altogether. 

Obama administration officials turn truth on its head. They wrongfully blame Eastern Ukrainians for virulent Kiev anti-Semitism.

Hate-mongering is official putschist neo-Nazi policy. US and other Western supporters pretend it doesn't exist. Kiev Jews know better.

If past is prologue, ongoing disturbing incidents may be harbingers of pogroms to follow. According to one Kiev Jew:

"The greatest concern is what happens if a mob is suddenly incited to attack a synagogue or a Jewish school" or entire community.

"Will police (intervene) to stop them?" Will they be allowed to rampage freely? Will they be encouraged to do so?

Kiev Rabbi Reuven Stamov is justifiably worried. "We have seen many unpleasant things from Svoboda members," he said.

"The authorities haven't done enough to find who is behind (hate-mongering) attacks." Failure to act encourages more of the same.

Things began this way in Nazi Germany. Incidents started slowly. They escalated out-of-control. Mass extermination followed. 

George Santayana's warning goes unheeded. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," he said.

Edmond Burke said much the same thing: "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Ukrainian Jews have just cause to worry. Especially Kiev ones. Neo-Nazi hate-mongering threatens them. 

Official silence whitewashes what demands highlighting. Haaretz editors share blame. 

They owe their readers an apology. Publishing Nadolenko's propaganda shamed them. Their regulars deserve much better. Failure to do so betrays them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.