Exceptional Powers – Anglo U.S Elite Tyranny VI

December 30th 2023

They Have Freedoms by R J Cook

During my 12 years as a commercial driver, before corrupt police got me disqualified and sacked with lies about me being a clinically insane wife beating alcoholic, I have seen terrible sights on the streets of Britain. It is never more depressing than at Christmas time. Bristol was one of the worst places I saw at Christmas 2016.

R J Cook Bristol 2016. Image Appledene Photographics.

My work took me all over Britain, including around Aldershot and Farnborough where an NCO held up my truck so that young soldier recruits could run across the road in front of me. They looked like the teenage boys I used to teach at secondary school. They were going onto heath land for training exercise, serious and disciplined. The army had taken them off grim city backstreets offering them death, glory and PTSD for those who survived warfare.

The ruling elite and officer corps has the same attitude as ever it did during past imperial trade wars, including World Wars One and Two. The common soldier’s world view is limited by an appalling state education system, in which industry, the U.K leads the world. Here, toilet paper GCSEs and toilet paper degrees from bog standard comprehensives and ‘Unis’ offer an illusion of knowledge. They are the envy of the world. Their U.S offspring is no better. Its young soldiers would have gone mad without the drugs to see them through the Vietnam War which was, like Ukraine, another war for rich peoples freedom. The masses don’t have freedom. They have ‘freedoms.’

These are the ‘men’ , not women, in waiting to fight if Ukraine looks too much like losing the Anglo U.S led proxy war on Russia. Soldiers need to have simple obedient minds because, as I was told when I went for Royal Navy Officer selection, I had to be ready to follow orders to kill without question. The more robotic the soldier the better.

NATO would prefer to win the war without using their own troops but there is a lot of power, resources and reconstruction contracts riding on this war. Reputations are more important than young men’s and civilian deaths.Taxpayer’s money is being consumed at the rate of £2.2 million per ‘Storm Shadow’ missile. Then there is the matter of Germany’s supplies of Leopard tanks. A typical Leopard 2A7+ tank costs around €13-15 million (US$14-17 million).

Germany gave Ukraine so many Leopards at taxpayer’s expense and arms makers profit that they ordered Germany18 Leopard 2 tanks and 12 self-propelled howitzers to replenish stocks depleted by deliveries to Ukraine. This was according to procurement documents seen by Reuters.

The tanks order came to 525 million euros ($578 million) while the howitzers cost 190.7 million euros, all of which are to be delivered by 2026 at the latest, according to the finance ministry documents drawn up for their parliament.

The cost of this war for rich peoples’ freedom and hideous planet eating profit is passed off as a cost of war crisis. The dumbed down masses do not have the intellectual depths and breadth to see what is being done to them. They won’t connect Ukraine with the rampant cost of living any more than they will connect up the financial and social implications of migrants presented as asylum seekers. The ‘Just Stop Oil’ and other environmental groups won’t see the danger either. Now Ukraine has killed 14 civilians with western missiles in Belgarod, Russia – causing massive casualties. Biden is desperate to give Ukraine more resources and U.K has agreed more air defence weapons. Russia fired $1 billion of missiles into Ukraine.

A British MI6 Agent caught plotting subversion with a Russian traitor in Moscow, 2018.

The stakes are very high. Russia has to double down now before Ukraine can gain more western support. Any such support will provoke worse , and at this rate, a nuclear response. Meanwhile Biden’s Democrats are trying every trick in the book to block Donald Trump’s chances of success. There can be little doubt that Vladimir Putin’s strengthening alliance with Iran has encouraged an attack on Israel, the United States Achilles heel. Trump just cannot be allowed to enter and win the 2024 Presidential Election because he has too much sense to let matters get worse and wants to look after Americans, not kill them.

Britain’s Achilles heel is the ever increasing Islamic population and its historic connection with the Islamic World, hence the London massive pro Palestinian protests. As poverty, homelessness and crime escalates, the Government relies on scapegoats and diversions. Labour will probably be worse because the women’s and anti racist pressure groups have been empowered. Diversity is their buzz word so long as their favourites are on top. BLM feeds on ignorance with slogans that all white men are privileged sexist racists.

The fact that the western international elite needs to blame the appalling regimes that they have fostered, for elite profit must be obscured. Religious bigotry and supremacy as the Islamists exemplify, keeps the Africans and Indian sub continent breeding, fighting civil wars and migrating to the west for a ‘better life.’ But don’t worry because as the BBC informs us, the Ukraine War has strengthened the NATO alliance to keep the fat cats safe from the dangers they have caused and are causing.

You can’t argue with the elite. They have freedom. We minions have only ‘freedoms’ at our rulers’ discretion. That is why they keep passing new laws to keep us divided by fear and the nonsense of diversity – the latter being a perfect excuse for ever more laws. It is no wonder there is so much mental illness, loneliness and apparently inexplicable violence. The elite’s answer to all ills is more police. Britain is a police state which is why the govenrment and incestuous elite media grows the state and the public spaces where we can be watched 24/7. The police award themselves medals for all of this. They are the new deity, accordingly unaccountable. They speak ex cathedra.

What kind of country sets up a ground breaking war crime whistele blower journalist, namely Julian Assange, for false rape charges without any evidence, then organises what was basically a coup in Educador to get him extradited from Eduador’s London Embassy, then commits him to years of squalid jail time without trial,waiting to extradite him to a Kangaroo vindictive U.S Court. The answer is the United Kingdom and United States partners in war crime. R J Cook

R J Cook

Why 2023 was an uncomfortable year for the West

Related Topics

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin shaking hands
Image caption, Vladimir Putin is a wanted man by the West in theory – but has received red-carpet welcomes abroad, including meeting Kim Jong Un

By Frank Gardner

BBC security correspondent

The past 12 months have seen a number of setbacks for the US, Europe and other major democracies on the international politics stage. None has been disastrous, for now. But they point to a shifting balance of power away from the US-dominated, Western values that have held sway for years.

On many fronts, the wind is blowing in the wrong direction for Western interests. Here’s why, and what benefits could still emerge from changes under way:


Despite some recent successes in the Black Sea, the war is not going well for Ukraine. That means, by extension, it is going badly for Nato and the EU, which have bankrolled Ukraine’s war effort and its economy to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

This time last year, hopes were high in Nato that, supplied with modern military equipment and intensive training in Western countries, Ukraine’s army could press home the advantage it had gained that autumn and push the Russians out of much of the territory they had seized. That hasn’t happened.

The problem has been one of timing. Nato countries took a long time making their mind up about whether they dared send modern Main Battle Tanks like Britain’s Challenger 2 and Germany’s Leopard 2 to Ukraine, in case it provoked President Vladimir Putin into some sort of rash retaliation.

In the end, the West delivered the tanks, President Putin did nothing. But by the time they were ready to be deployed on the battlefield in June, Russian commanders had looked at the map and rightly guessed where Ukraine’s main effort was going to be.

ukraine troops in avdiivka, 8 nov
Image caption, Ukraine’s counter-offensive has not gone as planned and it finds itself on the defensive on some parts of the front line

Ukraine, they figured, would want to advance south through Zaporizhzhia oblast towards the Sea of Azov, driving a wedge through Russian lines, splitting them in two and cutting off Crimea.

The Russian army may have performed abysmally in its attempts to seize Kyiv in 2022, but where it excels is in defence. All that time that Ukrainian brigades were getting trained up in Britain and elsewhere during the first half of 2023, and while the tanks were being shipped eastwards to the front, Russia was building the biggest, most extensive lines of defensive fortifications in modern history.

Anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, bunkers, trenches, tank traps, drones and artillery have all combined to thwart Ukraine’s plans. Its much-vaunted counter-offensive has failed.

For Ukraine and the West, the metrics are nearly all going in the wrong direction. Ukraine is running critically short of ammunition and soldiers. Congress is holding up the White House’s attempts to push through a $60bn military support package. Hungary is holding up the EU’s €50bn aid package.

One or both may eventually get through, but that may be too late. Ukrainian forces are already having to switch to the defensive. Meanwhile, Moscow has put its economy on a war footing, devoting one-third of its national budget to defence while throwing thousands of men and thousands of artillery shells at Ukraine’s front lines.

Obviously this situation is deeply disappointing for Ukraine, which had hoped by now to have turned the tide of war in its favour. But why does it matter to the West?

It matters because President Putin, who personally ordered this invasion nearly two years ago, needs only to hold on to the territory he has seized (roughly 18% of Ukraine) to proclaim a victory.

A building in Dnipro on fire
Image caption, On Friday Russia hit Ukrainian cities with its biggest barrage of missiles yet

Nato has emptied its armouries and committed everything short of going to war in order to support its ally, Ukraine. All potentially ending in an embarrassing failure to reverse the Russian invasion. Meanwhile, the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all Nato members – are convinced that if Mr Putin can succeed in Ukraine, he will come for them within five years.

Vladimir Putin

The Russian president is a wanted man. In theory.

In March 2023, he was indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, along with his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, for war crimes committed against Ukrainian children.

The West hoped this would make him an international pariah and bottle him up in his own country, unable to travel for fear of arrest and deportation to The Hague. That hasn’t happened.

Since that indictment, President Putin has been to Kyrgyzstan, China, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, getting a red-carpet welcome each time. He has also taken part virtually in the Brics summit in South Africa.

Round after round of EU sanctions were supposed to bring the Russian economy to its knees, forcing Mr Putin to reverse his invasion. Yet Russia has proved to be remarkably resilient to these sanctions, sourcing many products through other countries such as China and Kazakhstan. True, the West has largely weaned itself off Russian oil and gas, but Moscow has found other willing customers, albeit at a reduced price.

The fact is that while Mr Putin’s invasion and brutal occupation of Ukraine is abhorrent to Western nations, it largely isn’t to the rest of the world. Many nations see this as Europe’s problem, with some putting the blame on Nato, saying it provoked Russia by expanding too far east. To the dismay of Ukrainians, these nations seem oblivious to the widescale torture and abuses committed by Russia’s invading troops.


The West, Arab ministers told me recently at a summit in Riyadh, has double standards. “Your governments are hypocrites,” I was told. Why, they asked me, do you expect us to condemn Russia for killing civilians in Ukraine when you refuse a ceasefire in Gaza, where thousands of civilians are being killed?

Israeli army soldiers stand guard near the Israel-Gaza border
Image caption, Some 21,500 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed in the conflict, officials in Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip say

The Israel-Hamas war has clearly been catastrophic for all Gazans and for those Israelis affected by the murderous Hamas raid into southern Israel on 7 October. It has also been bad for the West.

It has diverted global attention away from Nato’s ally, Ukraine, as it struggles to hold off Russian advances this winter. It has diverted US munitions away from Kyiv in favour of Israel.

But most of all, in the eyes of many Muslims and others around the world, it has made the US and UK appear complicit in the destruction of Gaza by protecting Israel at the UN. Russia, whose air force carpet-bombed the city of Aleppo in Syria, has seen its stock rise in the Middle East since 7 October.

The war has already spread to the southern Red Sea, where Iran-backed Houthis are launching explosive drones and missiles at ships, driving up commodity prices as the world’s major shipping companies are forced to divert all the way round the southern tip of Africa.


Iran is under suspicion of secretly developing a nuclear weapon, which it denies. Yet despite Western efforts, it is far from isolated, having extended its military tentacles across Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Gaza through proxy militias that it funds, trains and arms.

This year, has seen it forge an ever-closer alliance with Moscow, which it provides with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of Shahed drones to launch at Ukraine’s towns and cities.

Designated as a hostile threat by several Western nations, Iran has benefited from the Gaza war by positioning itself in the Middle East as a champion of the Palestinian cause.

Africa’s Sahel

One by one, the countries of the Sahel region of West Africa have been succumbing to military coups that have seen the expulsion of European forces that were helping to combat a jihadist insurgency in the region.

The former French colonies of Mali, Burkina Faso and Central African Republic had already turned against the Europeans when in July, yet another coup saw the ousting of a pro-Western president in Niger. The last French troops have now left the country, although 600 US troops remain there in two bases.

Niger coup leaders attend a rally
Image caption, Coup leaders in Niger shortly after they took power

Replacing the French and international forces are the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner group, which has managed to cling on to its lucrative business deals despite the mysterious death of its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a plane crash in August.

Meanwhile, South Africa, once seen as a Western ally, has been holding joint naval exercises with Russian and Chinese warships.

North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is supposed to be under strict international sanctions because of its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programme.

Yet this year, it has forged close links with Russia, with its leader Kim Jong Un visiting a Russian space station, followed by North Korea sending a reported one million artillery shells to Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

North Korea has test-fired several intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are now believed capable of reaching most parts of the continental US.


To some extent, 2023 has seen an easing of tension between Beijing and Washington, with a largely successful summit between Presidents Biden and Xi in San Francisco.

But China has shown no sign of backing down on its claims over most of the South China Sea, issuing a new “standard” map that extends its claims almost right up to the coastlines of several Asia-Pacific nations.

Nor has it given up its claims over Taiwan, which it has vowed to “take back”, by force if necessary.

Reasons for optimism?

Against this gloomy backdrop for the West, it is perhaps hard to see glimmers of hope. But on the plus side for the West, the Nato alliance has clearly rediscovered its defensive purpose, galvanised by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Western unanimity shown so far has surprised many, although some cracks are now beginning to appear.

But it is in the Middle East where there is the greatest potential for improvement. That’s partly because of the horrific scale of events which have unfolded on both sides of the Gaza-Israel border.

Before 7 October, the search for a solution to the question of a future Palestinian state had largely been abandoned. A certain complacency had crept into Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians that this was a problem that could somehow be managed through security measures, without having to make any serious moves towards offering them a state of their own.

That formula has now been shown to be fatally flawed. One world leader after another has proclaimed that Israelis will not be able to live in the peace and security they deserve unless Palestinians can do the same.

Finding a just and durable solution to a problem that stretches back into history is going to be incredibly difficult and will ultimately involve painful compromises and sacrifices on both sides if it is to succeed. But now at last, it has the world’s attention.

Related Topics

December 28th 2023

Ukraine war: US releases last military aid for Kyiv for now

Related Topics

A Ukrainian serviceman of the 93rd separate mechanized brigade attends a Christmas Day service near the front line in the Donetsk region as Ukrainians celebrate their first Christmas according to a new calendar, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, December 25, 2023.
Image caption, A Ukrainian soldier near the front line in Donetsk this week

By Mike Wendling

BBC News

The White House has approved another tranche of US military aid to Ukraine worth some $250m (£195m).

The latest package includes air defence, artillery and small arms ammunition, and anti-tank weapons, US officials say.

But it marks the last funding available without fresh approval from Congress, where talks have stalled.

Ukraine has warned that the war effort and its public finances are at risk if further Western aid is not forthcoming.

Amid a stalled counter-offensive in the east of the country and a little-changed line of control, Ukrainian officials are facing the prospect of a slowdown in aid from allies in Washington and Europe.

Although the Ukraine war effort has broad support in the US Congress, an agreement on further arms has been stopped by Republicans who insist that tougher security measures on the US-Mexico border must be part of any military aid deal.

An emergency spending measure that would have provided $50bn for Ukraine and $14bn for Israel was defeated in the Senate earlier this month, with every Republican voting against it – along with Bernie Sanders, an independent who usually votes with Democrats but has expressed concerns about Israel’s war against Hamas.

A subsequent visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky failed to sway lawmakers.

Wednesday’s announcement will see the weapons pulled from existing Pentagon stocks, a move which does not need Congressional approval.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement announcing the aid package that it was “imperative that Congress act swiftly, as soon as possible, to advance our national security interests by helping Ukraine defend itself and secure its future”.

“Our assistance has been critical to supporting our Ukrainian partners as they defend their country and their freedom against Russia’s aggression,” he added.

Earlier this month a €50bn EU aid package for Ukraine was blocked by Hungary.

Ukraine is facing a $43bn budget deficit and officials say they may have to delay salaries and pensions for government employees if further aid from the West does not come soon.

“The support of partners is extremely critical,” Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, who also serves as the country’s economy minister, said in an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday. “We need it urgently.”

The newspaper reported that talks were progressing on a smaller aid package that would not need Hungary’s approval, which could be taken up in early February.

As funding has slowed from Ukraine’s Western allies, Russian forces have continued to fight in the east of the country, where they seized a key town on Tuesday.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said his troops took Mariinka in eastern Ukraine after Ukrainian forces pulled back. The town has been at the forefront of fighting for over a year.

Graphic showing countries' military contributions to Ukraine

Related Topics

More on this story

December 27th 2023

Israel Gaza: Angst grows among young voters over Biden’s policy

By Kayla Epstein

BBC News

The 2024 presidential election promises to be one of the most polarising political contests in living memory. But as the war in Gaza rages, President Joe Biden’s strong support of Israel is putting him at odds with some of his key supporters – younger voters.


Abdul Osmanu, 22, is not sure he can cast a ballot for President Joe Biden again. Much of that hesitation, he said, involves the Biden administration’s support of Israel as it continues to bombard Gaza.

“As a lover of peace, a Muslim, and a black man, it’s terrible to see the repression of the Palestinians,” said Mr Osmanu, who was elected to his local town council in 2021. “It’d be tough for me, in my conscience, to vote for a president aiding and abetting that in many ways.”

The young Connecticut voter told the BBC that he was weighing whether to vote for a third-party candidate or leave his presidential ballot blank in 2024. The decision is difficult, however, as he – and many other young voters – do not want to see Donald Trump elected again.

An increasing number of young Democratic voters, like Mr Osmanu, appear to be breaking with President Biden over the issue of Israel and the conflict in Gaza. It is a cause for concern for Democrats, as their opposition to Mr Biden’s policies could threaten a key pillar of support that the elder statesman leaned on during the 2020 election.

Abdul Osmanu
Image caption, Abdul Osmanu said he was unsure whether he could vote for Joe Biden again.

For the past two months, young voters have seen in the news and on social media images of war and destruction from within Gaza. They have followed the death toll as it climbed to over 20,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

At the same time, they have watched as Mr Biden publicly backed Israel’s stated effort to eradicate Hamas after they and allied groups killed 1,200 people in Israel on 7 October. It continues to hold an estimated 100 hostages in Gaza.

The BBC reviewed polling research and spoke to six young Democratic voters and organisers from across the US. Data and interviews appear to show a growing sense of political discord among young voters ahead of the 2024 election.

The Biden campaign declined to comment.

But registered voters aged 18-29 said they were more likely to support the Palestinian cause over Israel, a recent New York Times/Siena poll suggested. According to the survey, voters aged 18-29 had critical views of Israel and its counteroffensive against Hamas across the board, while older generations had more favourable views of the country.

Though a clear majority of registered voters – 57% – disapprove of the way Mr Biden is handling the conflict, young voters have the greatest objections. A total 72% of voters aged 18-29 disapprove of Mr Biden’s efforts, the Times/Siena poll indicated.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry has said at least 241 people were killed in the past 24 hours, as Israel’s military operation continues in the territory.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called the war a “grave crime” against his people.

Israel’s army chief Herzi Halevi said the conflict with Hamas would continue for “many more months”.

Israel says it hit more than 100 sites on Tuesday, amid reports of impending ground operations in central Gaza.

Loud explosions could be heard from the Gaza Strip across the perimeter with Israel in the early hours of Wednesday.

In the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medical sources say six Palestinians were killed in an overnight Israeli drone strike in the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem.

Gaza’s health ministry said 382 people had also been injured over the same 24 hours.

According to the ministry, at least 20,915 Palestinians have been killed – mostly children and women – in more than 11 weeks of fighting.

The claims by the warring sides have not been independently verified.

The war began on 7 October after Hamas led a wave of deadly attacks on communities inside Israel. Some 1,200 people, mainly civilians, were killed. About 240 people were taken back to Gaza as hostages, and a number of them were later released.

President Abbas has described the war in the Gaza Strip as “beyond a catastrophe” and “beyond a war of annihilation”.

He called it unprecedented in the history of the Palestinian people. Speaking in Ramallah to an Egyptian TV channel in his first interview since the war began, he said the territory had become unrecognisable and warned that the occupied West Bank could implode at any time.

The Palestinian leader accused Washington of prolonging the war by vetoing UN draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire.

Western Style Femocracy by R J Cook

Comment As a lover of peace, how can Abdul Osmanu support Palestine and Palestinians who have never accepted Israel and Israeli’s right to exist ? So called angst ridden U.S youth and Abdul should explain why HAMAS planning and carrying out such a barbaric Dark Ages style unprovoked attack was acceptable and not riddled with the worst of war crimes. Why isn’t Saudi Arabia forced into a two state solution and Western Style Femocracy ? Islam has never reformed and is utterly political with intent to deform the world. October 7th displayed exactly what it is capable of, no questions asked or answered. Events and carnage of 9/11 & 7/7 are long forgotten. There are those, even in the effectively unaccountable U.K Police guardians of our government approved freedoms ( sic ), who still think Hitler a laughing matter. I do not. Now it all seems to be happening again.

Adoph Hiter was responsible for the murder of millions with service men being driven by their governments like lambs to the slaughter. He was never a joking matter except to those as insane as he was. R J Cook

R J Cook

December 26th 2023

Russia confirms damage to warship in Black Sea

By Kathryn Armstrong & James Waterhouse

BBC News, London and north-eastern Ukraine

Russia has confirmed one of its warships has been damaged in a Ukrainian attack on a Black Sea port.

The airstrike took place at Feodosiya in Russian-occupied Crimea early on Tuesday morning.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence said the large landing ship Novocherkassk was struck by Ukrainian aircraft carrying guided missiles.

The head of the Ukrainian Air Force said earlier its warplanes had destroyed the ship.

One person was killed in the attack, according to the Russian-installed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov. Several others were reportedly hurt.

Six buildings were damaged and a small number of people had to be taken to temporary accommodation centres, Mr Aksyonov added.

The port’s transport operations are said to be functioning as normal after the area was cordoned off, while a fire caused by the attack was contained.

Footage purportedly showing a huge explosion in the port was shared by Ukrainian air force commander Lt Gen Mykola Oleshchuk.

The images have not been independently verified. However, satellite imagery from 24 December shows a ship at port in Feodosiya that appears to be the same length as the Novocherkassk – a landing ship designed to transport troops, weapons and cargo to shore.

Any significant damage to the ship will be a welcome bit of good news for Ukraine, with waning Western support now affecting its front-line operations. Given that the Novocherkassk was in dock, it is highly likely it was being loaded with soldiers, equipment or both.

Patrick Bury, a security and defence expert and former Nato analyst, told the BBC News Channel there was speculation that the ship was carrying Iranian-made Shahed drones, which Russia has been using in its attacks on Ukrainian targets.

Speaking on Ukrainian TV, the head of the press centre for Ukraine’s southern command, Nataliya Humenyuk, said it was “clear that such a large detonation was caused by more than just the fuel or ammunition of the ship itself”.

Ms Humenyuk added that Russia had been facing difficulties with transporting “important cargo” due to the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, being damaged.

“So, it is quite likely that it [the Novocherkassk’s cargo] was a kind of “Christmas present, completely wrapped,” she said.

Taking the ship out of action, even if only temporarily, will no doubt hamper Russia’s ability to supply troops in territory it occupies further north.

What is less clear is how long its operations will be disrupted for and what impact this strike will have on the front lines.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Ukraine’s air force has denied that Russia shot down two of its Su-24 bombers about 125km (77 miles) from the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.

And Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that his troops had seized the key town of Mariinka in eastern Ukraine.

Kyiv initially denied the claim, but in a news conference on Tuesday Ukrainian Armed Forces commander Valerii Zaluzhnyi said his troops had withdrawn to the outskirts of the town and beyond.

The area has been used by Ukraine as a defensive barrier since 2014, when Russian-backed fighters seized large swathes of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

A file image of the Novocherkassk warship
Image caption, Russia says the Novocherkassk was damaged, while Ukraine says it was destroyed (file image)

Tuesday’s attack on Feodosiya is not the first time that the Novocherkassk has been targeted by Ukrainian forces.

In March 2022, Ukraine’s defence ministry reported that the ship had been damaged in an attack on the occupied Ukrainian port of Berdyansk in which another amphibious assault ship, the Saratov, was sunk.

In a post on Telegram, Lt Gen Oleshchuk wrote that the Novocherkassk had gone the way of the Moskva – the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which sank in the Black Sea last year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky quipped that he was “grateful” to the country’s air force “for the impressive replenishment of the Russian submarine Black Sea fleet with another vessel,” in reference to other Russian ships that have been sunk during the war.

“The occupiers will not have a single peaceful place in Ukraine,” he said.

Russia seized and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its forces based there played a key part in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Russian forces in Crimea have since come under repeated Ukrainian attack. Last month, Ukraine’s military said it had destroyed 15 Russian navy ships and damaged another 12 in the Black Sea since the start of Russia’s war.

After a missile strike on the headquarters of the Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol last September, satellite images showed that the Russian navy had moved much of its Black Sea fleet away from Crimea to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

The dominance of the Russian navy has been diminished to an extent as result of such attacks, but this year has seen Moscow keep hold of the territory it occupies, despite a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Map showing Feodosiya and areas of Russian control around Crimea

Related Topics

Related Topics

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.51.0/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Comment NATO are getting ever more desperate to win this war of their own creation. The ship was destroyed by a U.K £2.2 million Storm Shadow missile paid for by patriotic freedom loving U.K taxpayers and there is more to come from those good sorts in the reign of freedom loving King Charles III and his Queen. So Russia needs to face facts and respond appropriately. The U.K Media are very upset about Navelny being sent to a cold remote labour camp. He was meant to take over and tilt the balance of power in favour of the planet eaters. Western media love him, but never mention what their paymaster elite have done to war crimes whistle blower Julian Assange.

R J Cook

Over the past two years, Russia and China have launched joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan, Russia has handed China submarine technology that could give it the edge in a war with US allies in the Pacific, and the leaders have pledged to cooperate on high tech weapons development, Putin said in November.

Russia and China are on the brink of a military alliance that could overwhelm the US

Analysis by Tom Porter

Dec 25, 2023, 8:34 AM GMT

Xi, Putin
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (C) reviews a military honour guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 8, 2018.
  • For decades, the US has been the world’s main military superpower. 
  • But the US faces formidable new threats, and rising global conflict. 
  • In the wake of the Ukraine war, Russia and China have been growing closer. 

December 25th 2023

Israel Gaza war: Hamas says 70 killed in Israeli air strike on camp

Related Topics

By Shaimaa Khalil in Jerusalem and Youssef Taha in London

BBC News

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says an Israeli air strike killed at least 70 people in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of the strip.

A spokesman said the death toll was likely to rise given the large number of families living in the area.

The Israeli military told the BBC it was looking into reports of the strike.

It comes as Israeli and Arab media say Egypt, which borders the Gaza Strip, has put forward a new proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Dozens of injured people were rushed from Maghazi to nearby Al-Aqsa Hospital with footage showing some children’s faces covered in blood and body bags piled outside.

The health ministry says three houses were hit in the attack late on Sunday.

According to ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, a densely populated residential block was destroyed.

People in Al-Aqsa Hospital after the reported air strike
Image caption, People in Al-Aqsa Hospital after the reported air strike

A father said he had lost his daughter and grandchildren, adding that his family had fled from the north for safety in central Gaza.

“They lived on the third floor of one of the buildings,” he said. “The wall collapsed on them. My grandchildren, my daughter, her husband – all gone.

“We are all targeted. Civilians are targeted. There is no safe place. They told us to leave Gaza City – now we came to central Gaza to die.”

The Palestine Red Crescent Society says “intense” Israeli air strikes have led to the closure of main roads between Maghazi and two other refugee camps, Al-Bureij and Al-Nuseirat, “hindering the work of ambulances and rescue teams”.

In a statement to the BBC, the Israeli military said it had received “reports of an incident in the Maghazi camp”.

“Despite the challenges posed by Hamas terrorists operating within civilian areas in Gaza, the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] is committed to international law including taking feasible steps to minimize harm to civilians,” it added.

According to the health ministry, more than 20,000 people have been killed – mostly children and women – and 54,000 injured in Gaza since 7 October, when Hamas and other Palestinian groups attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the war had come at a “very heavy price” for his country.

The Israeli military said more than a dozen soldiers had been killed in Gaza since Friday, bringing the total for the ground offensive launched after 7 October to 156.

Saturday was one of its deadliest days but Mr Netanyahu said there was “no choice” but to keep fighting.

Mourners attend the funeral of Israeli soldier Staff sergeant David Bogdanovskyi, who was killed in the Gaza Strip during the Israeli army's ongoing ground operation amid the conflict with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at a cemetery in Haifa, Israel, December 24, 2023
Image caption, Mourners at the funeral of an Israeli soldier in Haifa on Sunday

The new ceasefire proposal by Egypt would be implemented in three parts:

  • The first phase of the ceasefire would see a humanitarian pause of seven to ten days during which Hamas would release all civilian hostages in exchange for some Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails
  • In the week-long second phase, Hamas would release all Israeli female soldiers in return for more prisoners and the exchange of corpses held since 7 October
  • The third phase, which would last a month, would see the release of the remaining hostages and a number of Palestinian prisoners and Israel withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and suspension of all aerial activities.

Indirect negotiations would be held in Egypt with Qatari and US participation.

An Israeli source told Maariv newspaper that the Egyptian initiative could lead to negotiations. Hamas says it is studying the proposal.

Meanwhile, the Danish shipping giant, Maersk, says it is preparing to resume shipping operations through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

The announcement came after an international military operation, led by the US, was deployed to prevent the targeting of commercial ships by drones from areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels. The Houthis have declared their support for Hamas and have said they would target any ship travelling to Israel.

Maersk and other shipping companies stopped sending ships through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal earlier this month as a result of drone attacks. US Central Command said two days ago that a US navy destroyer had shot down four drones in the Red Sea launched from Yemeni territory.

In another development, Pope Francis appealed for peace in the Middle East as he presided over a Christmas Eve Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Referring to the war between Israel and Hamas, the Pope said Jesus’s message of peace was being drowned out by the “futile logic of war” in the very land where he had been born.

The Pope, 24 December
Image caption, Pope Francis at Christmas Eve Mass

Additional reporting by other BBC News staff

Related Topics

Anglo U.S NATO Elite Leading The Western World To Disaster

by R J Cook.

No Sympathy For White Working Class’s Need For A Separate Identity. Their voices don’t fit the diversity culture. They are a diminishing unaccepatble ethnic minority. Sanctimonious Hilary Clinton described the United States equivalent ” The Deplorables”. These people and their male children are called ‘privileged white males’ with nothing worthwhile to complain about. Their women are ‘liberally judged’ as in need of consciousness raising and liberation. EDL founder Tommy Robinson was arrested before he had a chance to protest on behalf of Israel at the time when a pro Palestimian protest was taking place in increasingly Islamic and ‘liberal’London.
Image copyright R J Cook Appledene Photographics.

Comment It is crucial to note that vile HAMAS started this undeclared war by cowardly and illegal means and method. Mainstream media deliberately misses the point of this war and its’ psychological reality. It does not wish to present and connect Militant Islamic Bigorty, the almost total Gaza support for HAMAS, HAMAS’s vile highly provocative ongoing war crimes, and the west’s politically powerful Musiim voters, asylum seekers and pressure groups.

When push comes to shove, the Jews are expendable. If they had the same Islamic obsession with their God and the afterlife, Israel would look as overpopulated, unsanitary, run down and be totally dependent on foreign aid just like Gaza. Israel knows that few if any hostages are alive and that they will have more dead off the back of resorting and giving way to vote hungry unscrupulous old Biden, Islam friendly U.K and smug self satisfied,self righteous ‘ white liberal’ comfortable elite media peace mongering ceasefire merchants.

The following comment from the Pope, for me, says it all about what the Church actually is ; a self interested self righteous relic of the long lost degenerate hedonistic Roman Empire : ‘Referring to the war between Israel and Hamas, the Pope said Jesus’s message of peace was being drowned out by the “futile logic of war” in the very land where he had been born.’

The Roman Catholic Church was created long after Rome’s assumed enemy Jesus’s death. It was as a violent oppressive spin off of the equally violent Roman Empire. Rome invented the political tool of Christianity, not Jesus. It proved very popular with emerging centralising European States accountable and authorised by the Pope to terrify its citizens.

That Rome was the same Empire reponsible for crucifying Jesus and expelling his people to hell in Europe. The Arab Palestinians have no prior claim to Israel’s land. Palestine Syria was a Roman creation pre Islam. There is no evidence for the God that supposedly mapped out the world. The Jews took the land violently from the Phillistines who were Greek. Islam and Protestantism were breakaway political organisations trading in terrifying their masses, perpetuating fear and ignorance for politcal and social control. Jesus died long before there was anything called Christianity.

Those of us who know and wish to be honest about historical facts and dynamics struggle in the modern western sytle police state ( democracies ) to be heard. Ignorance is vital to an increasinly ruthless and powerful elite’s control – with all the privileges that go with it. They ultimately rely on the old imperial strategy of divide and rule. The basic fact is that the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam has never been about Jesus’s teachings of peace. It has been about politics, power and hidous retrubution for non believers.

All the twentieth century efforts toward secular societies and putting organised religion into its place is being undone. Islam has always been prosetylising and Jihadist. They are delighted to milk western science and technology but there is no place for its logic in their world. Islam is on the march and on the rise. Putin has undoubtedly stirred things up in order to get the U.S off his back. As the Old Testament warns: ” He who sups with the Devil should use a long spoon.” Politicians are egotistical short termist and voters are simplistic, self centred with short attention spans. Russia faces an existential threat from the Anglo -U.S led NATO’s Ukraine proxy war for money and power grabbing regime change – with absolute control of the strategically important Black Sea..

The stakes have never been higher since 1939. However, I suspect that even Vladimir Putin underestimates the danger of stirring up a militant Islamist international hurricane – inspired by Muslim and white international sympathies for an apparently innocent and wronged Palestinian people ( sic ). I make this comment even though Putin has far more intelligence than the current U.S leadership, or the two main moronic virtue signalling mainstream U.K Parties who are blithely on message leading the west to mass disaster.

R J Cook

Former Lecturer In Political History at Aylesbury College and former Head of RE at Grange School Aylesbury.

December 24th 2023

U.K Lunatic Asylum

Migrants applying for asylum are going home for Christmas, Border Force chief reveals

22 December 2023, 08:58 | Updated: 22 December 2023, 11:39

Migrants applying for asylum are going home for Christmas, Border Force chief reveals

Facebook share
X share

Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark @NatashaC

Migrants applying for asylum in the UK are trying to go back home for Christmas, the UK’s Border Force chief has told LBC.

Listen to this article

Phil Douglas said his officers had been left shocked when carrying out exit checks on people leaving the UK.

LBC got an exclusive look behind the scenes at how Border Force operates at Luton airport – one of the busiest for Eastern European airlines in the run up to Christmas.

He said: “We do find a lot of people who have claimed asylum in this country, and are heading back to their own country for holidays, which obviously isn’t allowed.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly told LBC that some of those coming to the UK are economic migrants who are seeking a better life.

He said: “We have always been a very generous country, to the people who are genuinely seeking protection from persecution, from war from violence.

Christmas shoppers warned by Cleverly to remain vigilant against terror threat

“That has always been the nature of the British people. But we also recognise there are a lot of people who are fundamentally economic migrants.

“They are coming here because they want better jobs, perhaps, and what we’re saying is you, if you’re coming here illegally, you will not have the right to stay here, you will be sent home.”

Read more: Talks with airlines to take migrants to Rwanda have not started, James Cleverly admits

Mr Cleverly also told LBC that the cash spent on the France and Rwanda deals is worth the money.

More than half a billion has been given to France in recent years in a bid to halt the small boat crossings.

And more than £350million has been committed to Rwanda too – despite not a single plane flying off.

Mr Cleverly revealed that the government are not at the moment in discussions with airlines about flying migrants to Rwanda.

Border Force Chief Phil Douglas with Home Secretary James Cleverly
Border Force Chief Phil Douglas with Home Secretary James Cleverly. Picture: Andy Taylor / Home Office

There had been reports ministers had been struggling to find an airline which would carry them out.

But Mr Cleverly told LBC: “we are not at the stage yet where we can have those commercial negotiations…. of course, there are carriers that will work with us.

“They work with us at the moment, there’ll be others that will come forward I’m sure to help us operationalise the Rwanda scheme.”

Rishi Sunak has said he will look at “tightening” the new Rwanda legislation in a bid to try and get it past some of his Tory backbenchers, who threatened to rebel over it not being tough enough.

Mr Cleverly told LBC that they had already had several “constructive suggestions” they were looking at.

But he fired a warning shot to MPs that he would fight “tooth and nail” against anyone trying to kill it.

He said: “I’m very proud of what we did in that initial drafting. So we think we’re pretty much there.  But the whole point of the parliamentary process is for people to feed in their ideas, feed in their amendments feed in their thoughts.

“We’ve had some very credible suggestions put forward to us.

“I don’t want to rush ahead of the process. But the point is, the bill is in very good shape already. It is very robust. It’s one of the toughest bits of legislation that government has put forward, it’s the toughest.

“If there are little additional things to make it even better still. We will of course consider that. But what I’ve always said is attempts like Keir Starmer’s stunt to try and kill off the bill before it even started progressing through the house. We will very robustly defend ourselves against that.

“I want this bill on the statute books. I want it to be a success, and I will fight tooth and nail against any parliamentarians who try to kill it off.”

The Wistle Blower From F.S, West Country Correspondent

Martin Vrijland 4.67K subscribers

Tanker hit off India coast by drone from Iran, says US

File photo showing chemical products tanker off coast of UK
Image caption, The strike hit a chemical products tanker, like the one shown here in a file photo

By Phelan Chatterjee

BBC News

A chemical tanker in the Indian Ocean was hit by a drone launched from Iran on Saturday, the US military says.

A fire on board the Chem Pluto was extinguished. There were no casualties.

Iran has not commented. Houthi rebels in Yemen – who are backed by Iran and support Hamas in its war with Israel – have recently used drones and rockets to target vessels in the Red Sea.

But this event is the first of its kind so far away from there, according to maritime security firm Ambrey.

The same company also said the vessel was heading from Saudi Arabia to India, and was linked to Israel. The Houthis have claimed to be targeting Israel-linked vessels over the conflict in Gaza.

The US said the Chem Pluto was hit by “a one-way attack drone fired from Iran”. It is believed to be the first time the US has publicly accused Iran of targeting a ship directly.

It has previously accused Iran of being “deeply involved” in planning operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea – a charge Tehran has denied.

However, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have warned they could force the closure of waterways other than the Red Sea if “America and its allies continue committing crimes” in Gaza.

The Pentagon statement said the Chem Pluto, “a Liberia-flagged, Japanese-owned, and Netherlands-operated chemical tanker”, was struck on Saturday at 10:00 local time (06:00 GMT). The hit caused structural damage.

The incident took place 200 nautical miles (370km) south-west of the city of Veraval in India’s Gujarat state, according to United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

Ambrey said the event fell within an area considered a “heightened threat area” for Iranian drones.

The Indian navy sent an aircraft and warships to offer assistance. The BBC was not able to independently verify the incident.

A BBC map shows the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Iran and India - with the city of Veraval marked in the latter country

In a separate development, the US Central Command (Centcom) said that on Saturday “two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. No ships reported being impacted”.

It also said the USS Laboon warship patrolling the area “shot down four unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that were inbound” to the American vessel.

Later that day, a crude oil tanker reported being hit by a Houthi drone in the southern Red Sea, while another tanker saw a near miss.

Many global shipping groups have suspended operations in the Red Sea due to the increased risk of attacks. The UK government has vowed to ensure the route’s safety.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps told the Sunday Times newspaper that the UK was committed to repelling attacks on vessels – and would not allow the Red Sea to become a “no-go area”.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary David Cameron described Iran as a “thoroughly malign influence in the region and in the world”.

He said the Iranian leadership and its proxies needed to be sent an “incredibly clear message that this escalation will not be tolerated”.

Chris Farrell from Neptune P2P Group, a UK maritime security company, described nervousness in the region and observed that container ships were proving more likely to reroute than larger vessels.”Nobody really knows the situation out there,” he told the BBC World Service’s Weekend programme.

“Because of the lack of stability, that’s creating the uncertainty with the clients and the shipping companies which are putting their assets within that region.”

Related Topics

More on this story

Secret Genius of Modern Life

One of America’s most polarising figures…

Louis meets Chelsea Manning, the Iraq War whistle-blower, activist and data security expert

Louis Theroux interviews Chelsea Manning

December 23rd 2023

NATO is a mess and the Russians are winning

Stephen Bryen December 22, 2023

Originally published by Asia Times

The British are about to sign a Naval Security Pact with Ukraine, doubling down on their support for the sinking Volodymyr Zelensky-led country.

Meanwhile, Germany is upping its arms commitment to Ukraine, even though its arms stockpile is practically empty. Both the UK and Germany are emptying their wallets and their arsenals while the US is trying to do the same thing.

At the same time, the Washington Times, in an article by Bill Gertz, reports that Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wi), who is the chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, has come up with some novel ideas to help Taiwan make use of otherwise obsolete weapons in the US arsenal, mostly because getting new weapons right now is nearly impossible.

Gallagher says “Recent war games simulating conflict with China over Taiwan revealed that the US would run out of long-range precision-guided bombs and missiles less than a week into the conflict.”

Bill Gertz reports that the Pentagon has a backlog of more than US$2 billion worth of weapons that Taipei purchased, held up by defense industry delays.

Taiwan is currently waiting on 400 Harpoon missiles and 100 Harpoon launchers that the Pentagon announced in a sale over three years ago and which may not reach the island until 2029.

The key point is that it will take five more years (eight years total) to deliver Harpoon missiles to Taiwan. It is even worse for other war stocks such as 155mm and 120mm ammunition.

The weakness and problems of the American defense industrial base pale in insignificance to the manpower shortages affecting most NATO members as well as the US.

Germany’s small army is lacking new recruits. Like the US, Germany has a volunteer force, but things are getting so bad the German government is thinking about some kind of conscription system.

With the current German government already rapidly losing political support, trying to get the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, to vote in any conscription system would be political suicide. Boris Pistorius, Germany’s defense minister, understands the problem but has no solution likely to gain popular support.

Politics in Germany is sliding to the right, with the AfD, Germany’s right-wing party, securing growing voter support. The AfD has not yet taken any position on conscription, but it is a nationalist party that would like to see the sanctions on Russia lifted and does not support any European-wide defense initiative.

The total number of armed forces personnel in Germany had dropped to  181,383 as of the end of October, with thousands of vacancies unfilled.

The German tabloid Bild says that the German army has neither the strength nor the equipment required to effectively defend the nation. Yet, at the same time Bild was pointing out the military crisis, Germany announced it is sending a 5,000-strong brigade to Lithuania.

Read more.

Previous The Iranians close the Red Sea

Next Putin’s diplomatic blitzkrieg to save Hamas and set up Russian base next door to Israel


What They Asked For By R J Cook

Comment By 2022 the US,’defence’ spending was $801bn a year, and other NATO members about $363bn. Russia’s official 2022 military budget was around 4.7 trillion rubles ($75bn). By about $84bn for 2023, 40% more than initial military budget announced in 2021. Western Defence Industries are all about profit. I worked as a progress chaser for a U.S company in 1977. It was not efficient. Russia may have some corruption, as the west has in spades – simple example is Hunter Biden’s profits from Ukraine – but cannot compete with the west for waste. This is what NATO ‘protected’ Western ruling elite wants for Ukrainem all of Russia and eventually China. They will destroy the planet and live in holes like HAMAS if they have to.

NATO is a rambling bureaucracy full of self rigeteous jobsworths and internal rivalries. It is currently headed up by a banker which denotes that its main motivator, and guiding light, is money. Western arms dealers are a type of super car salesman living in luxury – in my truck driving days I delivered to one of them. He lived in a police protected 24/7 mansion with a garage full of luxury cars and his own private army of 4×4 driving dark glasses wearing heavies. One would meet me at the security gate then escort me across the massive estate. It was all very James Bond.

As we saw with deployment of western tanks, they have been a failure. NATO is like a big money bucket with big holes in, suspended over a sewer. NATO picked and provoked this war egged on by Churchill fantasist Boris Johnson and his Trusty war minister, Captain Wallace who had seen action in now betrayed Protestant Northern Ireland. NATO’s dominant ANGLO U.S leadership are after securing corrupt Ukraine’s rare earth metals, oil and control of the BLack Sea. That is all about access to the lucrative Dark Ages world of the Middle East, land of billionares, Radical Islam and asylum seekers.They have got what they were asking for there. NATO is not just chaos on so may legs. It causes chaos whereever it goes. Lackey western elite media lap it up, pumping and pipimg out its oily falke democractic propoganda to the eager masses who need all the comfort they can get.

R J Cook

December 22nd 2023

Times Have Changed & Will Change Again.

Image shows Rudy Giuliani
Image caption, Rudy Giuliani has said he is having financial difficulties because of increasing legal fees and expenses

By Bernd Debusmann Jr

BBC News, Washington

Rudy Giuliani, a longtime associate of former President Donald Trump, has filed for bankruptcy just days after he was ordered to pay $148m (£116m) in a defamation case.

He was ordered to pay the sum after a judge found he defamed two Georgia election workers over false claims they tampered with votes in 2020.

The filing shows he owes millions of dollars in legal fees and unpaid taxes.

A spokesman said the move should “be a surprise to no-one”.

In a statement, the spokesman for Mr Giuliani, Ted Goodman, said “no person could have reasonably believed that [Mr Giuliani] would be able to pay such a high punitive amount”.

He added that Thursday’s bankruptcy filing in New York would give Mr Giuliani the “opportunity and time to pursue an appeal, while providing transparency for his finances under the supervision of the bankruptcy court”.

Mr Giuliani, 79, said earlier this year that he was having financial difficulties because of his increasing legal fees and expenses.

Last week, an eight-person jury ordered him to pay $20m to Georgia poll workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss.

The pair said Mr Giuliani’s false claim that they tampered with votes had a traumatising impact on their lives. Ms Freeman said she would “always have to be careful” because of lingering fears she might be recognised publicly.

Ms Freeman and Ms Moss were also awarded more than $16m each for emotional distress. Another payment of $75m in punitive damages was ordered to be split between them.

Addressing reporters outside the court after he was ordered to pay the sum, Mr Giuliani said: “I don’t regret a damn thing.”

On Wednesday, a judge ordered him to start paying the two women immediately and expressed concern he might not comply with the judgement.

Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss speak outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Courthouse on December 15, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Image caption, Ruby Freeman (front) and her daughter Shaye Moss said Mr Giuliani’s claims had a major impact on their lives

It is unclear how the bankruptcy declaration will impact on the payments, but US bankruptcy law does not allow the dissolution of debts stemming from “wilful and malicious injury” inflicted on another party.

The bankruptcy filing lists nearly 20 creditors, including Ms Freeman, Ms Moss and Hunter Biden who sued him in September.

Other creditors include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which he owes more than $700,000 in income tax, and two voting software companies that sued him over his false claims of election fraud.

A law firm that previously represented Mr Giuliani, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, is also included. The firm sued Mr Giuliani for $1.4m in unpaid legal fees in September.

Mr Giuliani still faces an indictment in Georgia on racketeering and conspiracy charges as well as a $10m lawsuit by a former business associate over sexual harassment claims.

Related Topics

December 20th 2023

Looking Forward To A Giant Nuclear Brick By R J Cook

Looking Forward To The Giant Nuclear Brick’

The following report gives more of the lie to the United States and its rotten to the core parent, United Kingdom ( sic ) claims to be democracies. If these nasty crafty lying police states were democracies, then their political, media, and other corportate elites, would not have to keep telling us that they are.

So we have U.S and U.K media still on Donald Trump’s case since before his 2016 election. After that election, the comically named Democrats and their self sytled liberal elite have worked non stop to smear Trump. That machine was outraged and indignant when Hilary Clinton was defeated, so came the Trump impeachment process and all the Russian agent poison.

These self righteous morons prefer risking World War 3 to accepting Trump was ever rightly elected. They have demonstrated that they will leave no stone unturned – apart from the one under which they live – in order to block his candidacy for 2024.

There is no evidence that Trump committed any sex crimes, did anything that Biden never did or ever encouraged or participated in insurrection. But when pathetic corrupt cancerous public and elite organisations want to lie and ignore truth, as with the U.K Police with which I am very familiar, then they do. A gullible public is expected to accept this without question.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is innocent and better qualified than the peculiar and dubious war monger Joe Biden. U.K and U.S elite media were outraged when faced with the move to impeach him. The appalling truth of Hilary Clinton’s President husband Bill’s sexual misconduct with the likes of young intern Monica Lewinsky must never be mentioned in polite liberal and media circles. Joe Biden’s obvious involvement with his Ukraine profiteering son Hunter must be dismissed as vile untruth. The evidence says otherwise.

Hilary Clinton insisted that her 2016 election defeat was rigged,without evidence. I believe 2020 was rigged and that there is evidence the so called Capitol insurrection was helped on its way by the likes of the FBI to incriminate Trump. Here in this picture, Joe Biden points the ongoing road to hell.

This makes the pompous legal action against Trump for overvaluing his assets, absolutely trivial – apart from being normal business practice. It is also normal to undervalaue assets, as when U.K’s Thatcher Government did when she sold off state assets at knock down prices to city financiers and a get rich quick mass of moronic small investors who then sold out to big business. That is why the U.K has appalling profiteering utilities, like EDF who upped Sir Grayson Perry’s electric bill to £39,000 a month – see my Death After Life in Police State Britain page.

Undervaluing assets is called ‘asset stripping’. It is also good for tax evasion. This is a subject covered in my book ‘ Bucks Bricks’ by Robert Cook ( 1993 ) regarding asset stripping specialists Hanson Trust. Boss of that international capitalist monster Lord Hanson was a key donor to and favourite of Thatcher’s Conservative ( Tory) Party. If things continue like this with this disgusting wealth grabbing planet eating monster, then Russia may well decide to drop a massive nuclear brick on the whole lot of us. For me,that would be a relief after recently reaching my 73rd birthday and 16 years of hell from corrupt U.K Police in Police State Britain. Soon, only the morons will be left.

R J Cook

Trump’s legal defeat in Colorado may turn into political gold

Trump supporters at a rally in New Hampshire this week
Image caption, Trump supporters at a rally in New Hampshire this week

By Anthony Zurcher

North America correspondent

One of the court challenges to Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for president in 2024 has finally struck gold.

The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling to disqualify the former president from the Republican Party’s upcoming primary ballot is yet another unprecedented moment in US politics.

It’s a decision that further blurs the lines between America’s political and judicial systems, setting up a fresh collision between the election campaign and the courts.

However, this latest legal setback is unlikely to seriously damage Mr Trump’s bid to return to the White House – and he is already using it to his political advantage.

The activists who brought the case in Colorado – a liberal watchdog group and collection of anti-Trump Republican and independent voters – may be celebrating their victory.

But the response so far by Democratic politicians – the ones who will stand before voters next year and are working to defeat Mr Trump at the ballot box – tells a different story.

This isn’t a fight they want.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold – who had declined to act unilaterally to block Mr Trump from the state’s primary – issued a response to the court’s decision on Wednesday that didn’t exactly drip with enthusiasm.

“This decision may be appealed,” she said. “I will follow the court decision that is in place at the time of ballot certification.”

Part of the reason for her seeming reluctance to weigh in – and the relative silence of other Democrats – is that the ultimate outlook for the Colorado challenge isn’t bright.

Mr Trump’s campaign is already promising to appeal the decision – directly to the US Supreme Court. According to Samuel Issacharoff, a professor of constitutional law at New York University, the appeal will almost certainly be granted, particularly given that other state courts have considered, and rejected, similar lawsuits.

“It cannot be that the national candidacy for presidency is determined on a state by state basis,” he said. “That would be a breakdown of the democratic order.”

The Supreme Court currently has a six-to-three conservative majority. And while the justices, even the three appointed by Mr Trump, have shown a willingness to rule against the former president in previous cases, Mr Issacharoff believed they would be extremely reluctant to be seen as limiting voters’ options at the ballot box.

Democrats may also be concerned that the legal challenges – and the Colorado ruling – plays into one of the central messages of Mr Trump’s campaign, that the ruling elite is threatened by his political movement and are willing to subvert the will of the people to keep him from power.

Watch: What Trump’s Republican rivals are saying about Colorado Supreme Court ruling

Trump Campaign Spokesman Steven Cheung called the Colorado ruling “completely flawed”. He said it was a sign that Democrats had lost faith in President Joe Biden and “are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November”.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s Republican rivals are largely rallying around him, as they have during all of the former president’s legal battles this year.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called the Colorado decision an abuse of power. Vivek Ramaswamy said he would remove his own name from the state’s primary ballot. The Republican Party of Colorado has threatened to cancel the primary entirely and pick their choice for a nominee through a caucus process.

“We’re going to win this the right way,” said former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who may be Mr Trump’s closest challenger. “The last thing we want is judges telling us who can and can’t be on the ballot.”

Democrats may be frustrated that, at least so far, Mr Trump seems to have avoided any price – political or legal – for the role he played in the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

The former president has been indicted on charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election twice – by federal prosecutors and by a district attorney in Georgia. But those trials, which will be decided by citizen juries and not judges, are still months away, if not longer. And it may be telling that special counsel Jack Smith, who is heading the federal case, has brought narrow charges that don’t rely on directly proving that Mr Trump led an insurrection.

The decision by the Colorado Supreme Court may have offered a dramatic moment of accountability that some Trump critics are craving, but it also is likely to be a temporary one. And, in the end, it may make it more likely the former president returns to power, not less.

Related Topics

More on this story

December 19th 2023

Ukraine and Zelensky are facing a hard winter

Former Comedian & Billionaire Volodymyr Zelensky and ‘freedpm fighter’ ( sic ) wants billions more dollars and another 500,000 soliders of either sex in the NATO Proxy War on Russia. Hungary’s President Oban has been smeared as a Trojan Horse for Russia, Desperate Ukraine has convicted 14 Russian Ukrainians for spying.
  1. President Volodymyr Zelensky rejects a suggestion that Ukraine could be starting to lose the war against Russia
  2. Asked by the BBC at a news conference in Kyiv if there was a danger of Ukraine beginning to lose, he flatly replies “no”
  3. Zelensky says Ukraine’s military has asked for up to 500,000 more soldiers, as the war grinds towards the two-year mark
  4. But he says no final decision has been made on increasing troop numbers
  5. Battle lines have changed little since summer, and Ukrainian troops face a difficult period as winter sets in
  6. Elsewhere, Zelensky says he’s confident the US won’t “betray” Ukraine, after Republicans in Congress blocked a $60bn (£47bn) military aid package
  7. It comes after a top Ukrainian general warned operations were being scaled back due to a drop-off in such foreign aid
  8. Zelensky revealed that he wants to mobilise another 500,000 people – but he acknowledged it would be a sensitive issue.
  9. He said he needed more details before backing the move, hinting that 500,000 soldiers were already on the front.
  10. President Zelensky revealed today that he’s considering costly proposals to mobilise a further half a million people.
  11. It comes as commanders report ammunition shortages across the long front line.
  12. Packages of US and EU support to Ukraine – both military and economic – are stuck, probably until at least the New Year.
  13. Zelensky was asked by the BBC if he thought there was a danger Ukraine was losing the war, which he flatly denied.
  14. It’s his job to strike a defiant and positive tone – to try to rally his country.
  15. But earlier this year there were big hopes of a breakthrough with an eagerly-anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive that, in the end, hasn’t done much to change the front lines.
  16. Asked about a reported rift between the president and his top general, Valery Zaluzhny, Zelensky insisted the two still had a good working relationship.
  17. On the question of how long the war might take, the president said no-one could answer that.
  18. But Ukraine, he said, would not be let down by its partners.
  19. And what if Donald Trump returned to the White House after next year’s US presidential election?
  20. Zelensky said he didn’t think US policy would change. But if it did, he acknowledged, this could have a significant impact on the war.

December 18th 2023

World War Ever Closer

Ukraine-Russia war – live: Putin ‘threatens Nato’ as paramilitaries ‘destroy’ squadron in cross-border raid

Kremlin’s ‘hostile intent’ towards alliance poses ‘credible and costly threat to Western security’, says think tank

Alexander Butler,Tom Watling ,Maira Butt,Tara Cobham


Kyiv suffers ‘largest ever’ drone attack by Russia leaving ‘five wounded’

Breaking News

For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails

I would like to be emailed about offers, events and updates from The Independent. Read our privacy notice

Vladimir Putin has threatened Finland and the wider Nato alliance, according to a US war think tank, while Russian paramilitaries based in Ukraine have claimed responsibility for a cross-border attack.

The Russian President’s interview with his country’s state TV on Sunday is indicative of the Kremlin’s “hostile intent” towards the alliance, which poses a “credible and costly threat to Western security”, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Meanwhile, the Freedom of Russia Legion – which says it was formed in spring 2022 to fight Putin’s forces from within the Armed Forces of Ukraine – claimed to have carried out a cross-border raid a few miles into Russia’s Belgorod region on Sunday.

The group, designated as terrorist in Russia, alleged it had destroyed a platoon stronghold of Russian troops near Trebreno village, without specifying whether it had destroyed infrastructure or killed soldiers, and said it had left mines behind.

It comes after Ukraine and Russia launched a swarm of drones at each other’s territories on Sunday as both sides step up attacks, with the Russian assault reportedly killing one person in Odesa and the Ukrainian strike targeting a Russian military airfield.


If all else fails when they don’t look like having their way, the ruling elite will stir up war between the sexes, races and even go for mass slaughter on a global stage – as in the last two world wars and now with their NATO proxy war on Russia.

Only Police State Methods can control a world of social chaos where the international ruling elite brainwash with slogans about western style democracy, new laws to protect ‘our freedoms’ and fear. If all else fails when they don’t look like having their way, they will stir up war between the sexes, races and even go for mass slaughter on a global stage – as in the last two world wars and now with their NATO proxy war on Russia.

Britain and the United State’s elite move as one in foreign policy because their class and financial elites are one. That is why the U.K media hates Donald Trump, so is still working hard to destroy his credibility. Trump’s 2016 election delayed the plot to provoke Russia into war in Ukraine for his whole term. I congratulate Vladimir Putin’s perspicacity and acerbity in setting up his Muslim allies in Lebanon and Iran to let loose the hatred and opportunism of the Hamas attack on Israel.

Putin knows that the Middle East – when Israel enters the equation – is the Anglo U.S Achilles Heel. Britain’s feminised political front people in Parliament and Mainstream Media have a major need to present Islam as a kind of pacifist hippy true way. Major British urban parliamentary seats depend on Muslim voters. The Tories and Labour Party have consistently betrayed white working class voters who now look to the besmirched right wing scapegoats.

Sir Kier Starmer’s Labour Party ( sic ) has admitted how much he admired asset stripping and social fabric destroyer Margaret Thatcher. That says so much as to how far the rich elite and their poltically correct media have dragged this excuse for a nation down into the stinking gutter. As Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office pointed out accidentally, the young white family are not true Londoners.

The United States is not yet quite so overwhelmed by militant political Islam – itself begun as a breakaway offshoot of Christianity which was a Jesus inspired rejection of orthodox Judaism. But ever more drastic change is coming.

It is frightfully amusing to hear the white liberals screaming and shouting about a so called Two State Solution for Israel. The Jews were there first, with historic lands over twice as big as the nation’s measly rebirth in 1948. The Roman Empire found them troublesome and kicked them out. So they crossed the Mediterranean to Europe where rising monarchies forbade Gentiles to make money by lending money.

The 1513 Usury Laws gave Jews a free hand to profit, using that wealth to get into other types of businesses. That is how we got the likes of Rothschilds and George Soros. Many got very rich and most did well, valuing education like Albert Einstein, moving humanity forward. Hitler and the Nazis scapegoated them for losing World War One by keeping all the wealths for themselves.

They were delivered into the hell of concentration camps, slave labour and mass murder. The few Jewish survivors of Europe sought better times abroad. Britain and the U.S created a tiny version of old Israel, squeezed between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Jews prospered here, in spite of the Arab attacks and wars. Their success nurtured Palestinian – and regional – jealousy. Strangely this type of jealousy and hatred is never focused on the likes of Saudi Arabian oil billionaires, their fellow Muslims ( sic ). Wealthy Jews dominate U.S Media and financial houses, posing further problems for Biden who, whatever the cost or means, just has to be re elected. Squaring the Democrat’s fake moral superiority with Islamic Barbarism is major problem Putin has posed for The Bidenites.

Palestinians have made clear that they want to annihilate Israel and its Jews. Muslims are not multi culturalists. That doesn’t bother the British and U.S media liberals. Biden’s Democrats will do their best to rig the 2024 election as I believe they did in 2020. So Joe Biden, who needs the Islamic vote in the swing states, has set Israel a tight deadline to avoid electoral damage and enable the U.S to get back to what it really cares about : The US led Nato War In Ukraine to defeat Russia. That is where the big money and road to redeeming the dying Anglo – U.S Empire lies.

Incidentally, according to Forbes, Estonia’s Defence Minsistry, they have calculated they will have to kill at least 100,000 Russian soldiers next year, then Ukraine will be safely inside the EU Gravy Train and the NATO group of Industrial and Military madmen who will target China next for regime change.

R J Cook

Hungary’s Viktor Orban: Is one man blackmailing the EU?

orban in brussels
Image caption, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban accuses Brussels of wielding too much power

By Sofia Bettiza

BBC News, Brussels

The political rollercoaster that unfolded in Brussels this week was astonishing even for the most veteran watchers of European summits.

As EU leaders met for the last time before the Christmas holidays, all eyes were on one man: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

He is perceived as the Kremlin’s closest ally in Europe, and is the only EU leader who met face-to-face with Vladimir Putin this year.

As his voice grew louder with threats that he would block two crucial decisions on Ukraine, speculation in Brussels was rife about how the negotiations would go down. Would Mr Orban torpedo the summit?

There were rumours the meeting could go on for days, and well into the weekend.

On his way in, a chipper Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo set the mood: “Russia’s threat is real. I’m ready to negotiate, and I’ve packed a lot of extra shirts.”

EU leaders tucked into a festive lunch that included Breton medallion, sole with root vegetables and panettone.

Then it was time for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to make a last-ditch plea via videoconference.

Viktor Orban and Emmanuel Macron
Image caption, France’s Emmanuel Macron voiced irritation with Mr Orban’s stance

“Ten years ago in Ukraine, people rose up under the flags of the European Union … I ask you one thing today: do not betray the people and their faith in Europe.”

Hours went by. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz put a pullover over his suit; “a sign he’s in it for the long haul,” an EU diplomat told me.

Then negotiations about opening membership talks with Ukraine hit a wall. The situation was at an impasse: it was 26 against one.

That’s when the German chancellor took Mr Orban to the corner of the room and suggested he should leave and go for a coffee.

“No one could hear what they were talking about,” an EU source told me. “But it wasn’t like Scholz was giving him an order: Mr Orban left voluntarily. He went into his delegation room, which is on the same floor.”

With Mr Orban quite literally out of the way, the other 26 leaders went ahead and the vote was unopposed. Because such a move requires unanimous support, it would not have been possible with the Hungarian prime minister present.

It later turned out that the coffee break that saved Ukraine’s EU accession bid had been planned all along. French President Emmanuel Macron said the idea was a collective effort.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas called this strategic loophole “interesting for the history book”. She joked that she would describe it in her memoirs some day.

When the news about Ukraine’s EU membership process broke, the mood in the press room – where hundreds of international journalists were covering the EU meeting – went from sober to euphoric within seconds.

Charles Michel, the man who chaired the meeting, came out to speak to journalists – mostly to congratulate himself on a “historic moment that shows the strength of the European Union”.

Charles Michel chaired the meeting on Ukraine's EU membership bid
Image caption, Charles Michel chaired the European Council summit on Ukraine’s EU membership bid

Shortly afterwards, Mr Orban posted a video to social media, describing the decision as “completely senseless, irrational and wrong”.

So why did he allow it to go ahead?

He justified his decision to walk out of the vote by saying he had “spent eight hours persuading them not to do this”. He said other EU leaders wanted that decision “frantically”, so he agreed with them that he would leave the danger and leave them to it.

In reality, EU membership talks are a slalom of caveats and technicalities. It will take years before Ukraine is ready to join the bloc. And Mr Orban knows he still has plenty of opportunities to block the process down the line.

But if EU leaders thought the Hungarian PM had suddenly fallen into line, they were in for a disappointment.

Talks broke down at about 02:30 in the morning, after Mr Orban had used his veto powers to block the more concrete, and much more pressing, decision to send a €50bn ($55bn; £43bn) aid package to Kyiv.

It’s not the first time he has used a veto to win concessions for Budapest – such as exemptions for Russian oil imports. But he had never prevented an EU agreement.

His grandstanding did not go down well with President Macron.

“Hungary was respected during this European Council meeting. [Orban] was listened to. This respect implies responsibilities and so I expect from Viktor Orban in the coming months that… he will behave like a European and not take our political progress hostage,” Mr Macron said.

But Balazs Orban, Viktor Orban’s political director (the two are not related), said Hungary was not blackmailing the EU, and in fact it was the other way around.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the sidelines of the Third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on October 17, 2023.
Image caption, Viktor Orban is viewed as an ally of the Russian president and met him in Beijing in October

He implied that the prime minister would start playing ball only if the EU were to unblock €20bn of funds for Hungary, frozen because of concerns about human rights and corruption in the country.

“We don’t understand why we don’t have access to 100% of financial funds,” he added.

Hungary wants that money before it agrees to any more for Ukraine.

Despite the diplomatic drama behind the scenes, leaders insisted that a solution on cash for Ukraine could be found early next year, either by bringing Mr Orban on board or forcing the aid package for Kyiv through without his backing.

The EU is already preparing to work around a Hungarian veto if necessary, for example by letting all EU countries except Hungary provide bilateral funding to Ukraine in 2024 outside the EU budget.

It is not unprecedented for one European country to delay a decision on EU money: Brussels diplomats are used to backroom deals and compromise. And when it comes to Ukraine – a country embroiled in a war on the EU’s doorstep – the bloc is keen to show that it will stand with Kyiv, for as long as it takes.

Asked how he planned to get Mr Orban to change his stance on Ukraine, Charles Michel laughed and said that he was open to suggestions.

HMS Diamond: British warship shoots down suspected attack drone in Red Sea

The HMS Diamond, off the coast of Scotland
Image caption, The Destroyer HMS Diamond only recently arrived in the region

By Emily Atkinson

BBC News

A British warship has shot down a suspected attack drone in the Red Sea, the defence secretary has said.

HMS Diamond, a Type 45 Destroyer, successfully destroyed the target on Saturday, Grant Shapps said.

The Ministry of Defence said it was the first time in decades the Royal Navy had shot an aerial target in anger.

The MoD did not say who was behind the incident, but Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for recent attacks in the Red Sea.

The Houthis have targeted foreign ships in the area since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. They have declared support for Hamas and have said they were targeting ships travelling to Israel.

Merchant shipping was believed to be the drone’s intended target in Saturday’s incident, the defence secretary said.

The Red Sea lies between north Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and connects the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal.

HMS Diamond was sent to the region just two weeks ago “to bolster international efforts to maintain maritime security”, Mr Shapps said in a statement.

The defence secretary said the attacks represented “a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security” in the Red Sea.

“The UK remains committed to repelling these attacks to protect the free flow of global trade,” he added.

HMS Diamond departs HM Naval Base Portsmouth
Image caption, One Sea Viper missile fired and successfully destroyed the target, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said

Earlier this month, the US military said the Unity Explorer, sailing under the flag of the Bahamas and owned by a British company, was among three commercial vessels targeted in an attack by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

On Friday, shipping company Maersk told all its vessels planning to pass through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea to “pause their journey until further notice” after a missile attack on a Liberian-flagged cargo ship.

About 50 large merchant ships pass through the strait every day while double that number pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

According to the MoD, the last time the Royal Navy shot down an aerial target in anger was in the First Gulf War in 1991, when Type 42 Destroyer HMS Gloucester destroyed an Iraqi Silkworm missile bound for a US warship.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said: “One sixth of the world’s commercial shipping passes through the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait and Red Sea.

“HMS Diamond deployed at short notice to the region from Portsmouth just two weeks ago and is already delivering effect together with our American, French and other allies and partners.

“The Royal Navy is committed to upholding the right to free use of the oceans and we do not tolerate indiscriminate threats or attacks against those going about their lawful business on the high seas.”

How Did This Happen ?


  1. The IDF says three Israeli hostages who were mistakenly killed in Gaza by the Israeli military had been holding up a white cloth on a stick
  2. An initial report by Israel’s military into the deaths found that the hostages were fired upon against Israel’s rules of engagement
  3. Protests over the killings took place in Tel Aviv with calls for the Israeli government to do more to bring home hostages from Gaza
  4. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, described the deaths as an “unbearable tragedy”
  5. The Israeli offensive has continued in Gaza – with residents reporting fighting in northern, central and southern Gaza
  6. Hamas broke through Israel’s heavily guarded perimeter on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages – some of whom were released during a brief truce
  7. The health ministry in Gaza, which is run by Hamas, says more than 18,700 people have been killed and 50,000 injured in the enclave since the start of the Gaza war

Israel has a ‘moral duty’, says freed hostage’s daughter

Sharone Lifschitz is the British-Israeli daughter of Yocheved, 85 – one of the first hostages released from Hamas captivity in Gaza in late October.

Her father, Oded, 83 is still missing and believed to be held hostage in the Strip.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, Sharone said mistakes happen in war but Israel has to use diplomatic efforts to free those still in captivity.

“I know that people are petrified and people are scared,” she said, adding that when her mother was still a captive, what frightened her most were attempts by the Israeli military to free them.

“I know that all these attempts are incredibly dangerous,” Sharone said, but Israel must “work towards the exchange of all hostages”.

“Israel has a moral duty towards the citizens it abandoned on 7 October. As the time passes that moral duty is becoming more and more urgent.”

Read more about these links.

Palestinian health ministry says two killed in West Bank

We’re turning our attention to the occupied West Bank now, where there’s been a surge in violence since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, triggered by Hamas’s attack on southern Israel on 7 October.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, two Palestinian men have been killed by Israeli gunfire in two separate incidents in the territory today.

A 20-year-old died of his injuries after being shot by Israeli forces in the town of Beit Ummar, the ministry said, while a 25-year-old man was killed in the city of Tulkarm.

Islam Is a Religion of Violence

The Romans obliterated Judaism along with their Kingdoms of Judaea and what is now Southern Lebanon, They created Syria Palestine. These pictured people are rather typical of the Islamic masses who have no idea of truth or history. R J Cook, former Head of Religious Education at Grange School Aylesbury.

Can the wave of violence sweeping the Islamic world be traced back to the religion’s core teachings? An FP debate about the roots of extremism.

By Ayaan Hirsi Ali


November 9, 2015, 11:01 AM

In the past few weeks, both Russia and the United States have escalated their military campaigns against the Islamic State. As the brutal jihadist group continues to wreak havoc in Syria and Iraq, Foreign Policy’s Peace Channel, a partnership with the United States Institute of Peace, asked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, and United States Institute of Peace acting Vice President Manal Omar, one of the foremost voices on peace and Islam, to debate what is behind this newest breed of extremism and how can it be defeated. In the age of al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and Boko Haram, is there a link between the violence these groups perpetrate and the faith they profess? (Read Manal Omar’s piece here.)

In the 14 years since the attacks of 9/11 brought Islamic terrorism to the forefront of American and Western awareness and then-President George W. Bush launched the “Global War on Terror,” the violent strain of Islam appears to have metastasized. With tracts of Syria and Iraq in the hands of the self-styled Islamic State, Libya and Somalia engulfed in anarchy, Yemen being torn apart by civil war, the Taliban resurging in Afghanistan, and Boko Haram terrorizing Nigeria, policymakers are farther away from eliminating the threat of violent Islamism than they were when they began the effort. In fact, Western countries are increasingly witnessing domestic attacks such as the murder of British military drummer Lee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, the shootings at Parliament Hill in Canada in 2014, the attacks at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and at a Jewish supermarket in Paris this past January, and most recently the terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on a military recruiting center and naval compound.

But does this violent extremism stem from Islam’s sacred texts? Or is it the product of circumstance, which has twisted and contorted Islam’s foundations?

To answer this, it’s worth first drawing the important distinction between Islam as a set of ideas and Muslims as adherents. The socioeconomic, political, and cultural circumstances of Muslims are varied across the globe, but I believe that we can distinguish three different groups of Muslims in the world today based on how they envision and practice their faith.

The first group is the most problematic — the fundamentalists who envision a regime based on sharia, Islamic religious law. They argue for an Islam largely or completely unchanged from its original seventh-century version and take it as a requirement of their faith that they impose it on everyone else. I call them “Medina Muslims,” in that they see the forcible imposition of sharia as their religious duty, following the example of the Prophet Mohammed when he was based in Medina. They exploit their fellow Muslims’ respect for sharia law as a divine code that takes precedence over civil laws. It is only after they have laid this foundation that they are able to persuade their recruits to engage in jihad.

The second group — and the clear majority throughout the Muslim world — consists of Muslims who are loyal to the core creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence or even intolerance towards non-Muslims. I call this group “mecca Muslims.” The fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.

More recently, and corresponding with the rise of Islamic terrorism, a third group is emerging within Islam — Muslim reformers or, as I call them, “modifying Muslims” — who promote the separation of religion from politics and other reforms. Although some are apostates, the majority of dissidents are believers, among them clerics who have come to realize that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of political violence.

The future of Islam and the world’s relationship with Muslims will be decided by which of the two minority groups — the Medina Muslims and the reformers — wins the support of the meccan majority. That is why focusing on “violent extremism” is to focus on a symptom of a much more profound ideological epidemic that has its root causes in Islamic doctrine.

To understand whether violence is inherent in the doctrine of Islam, it is important to look at the example of the founding father of Islam, Mohammed, and the passages in the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence used to justify the violence we currently see in so many parts of the Muslim world. In Mecca, Mohammed preached to his fellow tribesmen to abandon their gods and accept his. He preached about charity and the conditions of widows and orphans. (This method of proselytizing or persuasion, called dawa in Arabic, remains an important component of Islam to this day.) However, during his time in Mecca, Mohammed and his small band of believers had little success in converting others to this new religion. So, a decade after Mohammed first began preaching, he fled to Medina. Over time he cobbled together a militia and began to wage wars.

Anyone seeking support for armed jihad in the name of Allah will find ample support in the passages in the Quran and Hadith that relate to Mohammed’s Medina period. For example, Q4:95 states, “Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home).” Q8:60 advises Muslims “to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.” Finally, Q9:29 instructs Muslims: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Mainstream Islamic jurisprudence continues to maintain that the so-called “sword verses” (9:5 and 9:29) have “abrogated, canceled, and replaced” those verses in the Quran that call for “tolerance, compassion, and peace.”

Read More

A woman holds a cross as she prays at Independence Square in Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2022.
A woman holds a cross as she prays at Independence Square in Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2022.

How Women Are Reconciling Feminism With Faith

From Mormonism to Islam, reformers around the world are making their religions less politically conservative.


| Angela Saini

A devotee is seen in profile as she performs a prayer ritual in front of statues of Hindu gods, which are surrounded by candles. The woman, dressed in red, holds an object that has been set on fire while she kneels. Her eyes are closed as she prays.
A devotee is seen in profile as she performs a prayer ritual in front of statues of Hindu gods, which are surrounded by candles. The woman, dressed in red, holds an object that has been set on fire while she kneels. Her eyes are closed as she prays.

Nepal’s Stolen Gods Seek New Homes

Communities want statues to become a part of living heritage again.


| Bibek Bhandari

Lebanese supporters and members of the Islamic group Jamaa Islamiya wave Turkish and Lebanese flags and flash the four finger symbol known as "Rabaa" during a demonstration to support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following a deadly but foiled coup attempt by an army faction on July 16, 2016 outside the Islamic Turkish hospital in the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon.
Lebanese supporters and members of the Islamic group Jamaa Islamiya wave Turkish and Lebanese flags and flash the four finger symbol known as “Rabaa” during a demonstration to support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following a deadly but foiled coup attempt by an army faction on July 16, 2016 outside the Islamic Turkish hospital in the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Survival Is Now in Question

Turkey has turned its back on the Islamist group, eliminating one of its last safe havens.


| Anchal Vohra

As for the example of Mohammed, Sahih Muslim, one of the six major authoritative Hadith collections, claims the Prophet Mohammed undertook no fewer than 19 military expeditions, personally fighting in eight of them. In the aftermath of the 627 Battle of the Trench, “Mohammed felt free to deal harshly with the Banu Qurayza, executing their men and selling their women and children into slavery,” according to Yale Professor of Religious Studies Gerhard Bowering in his book Islamic Political Thought. As the Princeton scholar Michael Cook observed in his book Ancient Religions, Modern Politics, “the historical salience of warfare against unbelievers … was thus written into the foundational texts” of Islam.

There lies the duality within Islam. It’s possible to claim, following Mohammed’s example in Mecca, that Islam is a religion of peace. But it’s also possible to claim, as the Islamic State does, that a revelation was sent to Mohammed commanding Muslims to wage jihad until every human being on the planet accepts Islam or a state of subservience, on the basis of his legacy in Medina. The key question is not whether Islam is a religion of peace, but rather, whether Muslims follow the Mohammed of Medina, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shiite.

The key question is not whether Islam is a religion of peace, but rather, whether Muslims follow the Mohammed of Medina, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shiite.

Today, the West is still struggling to understand the religious justification for the Medina ideology, which is growing, and the links between nonviolence and violence within it. Two main viewpoints have emerged in the debate on the causes of violent extremism in Islam. The difference between them is reflected in the different terminology used by proponents of the rival views.

Popular academics such as John Esposito at Georgetown and author Karen Armstrong believe that religion — Islam, in this case — is the “circumstantial” bit and that the real causes of Islamist violence are poverty, political marginalization, cultural isolation, and other forms of alienation, including real or perceived discrimination against Muslims. These apologists for Islam use words such as “radicalism,” “violent extremism,” and “terrorism” to describe the various attacks around the world committed in the name of Islam. If Islam is mentioned at all, it is to say that Islam is being perverted, or hijacked. They are quick to assert that Islam is no different from any other religion, that there are terrible aspects to other religions, and that Islam is in no way unique. That view is more or less the “official” view of policymakers, not only of the U.S. government, but also of most Western countries (though policy changes are beginning to appear on this front in some countries such as the U.K., Canada, and Australia).

But the apologists’ position has been a complete policy failure because it denies the religious justifications the Quran and the Hadith provide for violence, gender inequality, and discrimination against other religions.

Proponents of the alternative view, such as the late academic Patricia Crone and author Paul Berman, rely on different terms such as “political Islam,” Islamism, Salafism, Wahhabism, and Jihadism. All of these terms are designed to convey the religious basis of the phenomenon. The argument is that an ideological movement to impose sharia law, by force if necessary, is gaining ground across the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and even in Europe. In a speech this past July, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “[S]imply denying any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists doesn’t work, because these extremists are self-identifying as Muslims. The fact is from Woolwich to Tunisia, from Ottawa to Bali, these murderers all spout the same twisted narrative, one that claims to be based on a particular faith. Now it is an exercise in futility to deny that.” I agree.

The view that the ideology of radical Islam is rooted in Islamic scripture understands fully the cause of terrorism; it takes religious arguments seriously, and does not view them as a mere smokescreen for underlying “real” motivations, such as socio-economic grievances. This school of thought understands that the problem of radicalization begins long before a suicide bomber straps on his vest or a militant picks up his machine gun; it begins in mosques and schools where imams preach hate, intolerance, and adherence to Medina Islam.

Western governments have tried to engage with “moderate Muslims”: imams and community leaders who denounce terrorist attacks and claim to represent the true, peaceful Islam. But this has not amounted to meaningful ideological engagement. These so-called moderate representatives of Islam insist that violence has nothing to do with Islam and as a result the intolerant and violent aspects of the Quran and the Hadith are never acknowledged or rejected. There is never any discussion about change within Islam to bring the morally outdated parts of the religion in line with modernity or genuine tolerance for those who believe differently.

Despotic governments, civil war, anarchy, economic despair — all of these factors doubtless contribute to the spread of the Islamist movement. But it is only after the West and, more importantly, Muslims themselves recognize and defeat the religious ideology on which this movement rests that its spread will be arrested. And if we are to defeat the ideology we cannot focus only on violent extremism. We need to confront the nonviolent preaching of sharia and martyrdom that precedes all acts of jihad.

We will not win against the Medina ideology by stopping the suicide bomber just before he detonates himself, wherever he may be; another will soon take his (or her) place. We will not win by stamping out the Islamic State or al Qaeda or Boko Haram or al-Shabab; a new radical group will just pop up somewhere else. We will win only if we engage with the ideology of Islamist extremism, and counter the message of death, intolerance, and the pursuit of the afterlife with our own far preferable message of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Read Manal Omar’s piece here.


There are no moderate alcoholics. There is nothing moderate about Islam. It is not compatible with science, material, psychological health, social and economic progress. Islam is run, as with Chrsitainity, by a rich pampered elite. For the masses, peace and pleasure is in the afterlife. That is what religion is for. The New Testament and Koran are derivative of the frighteningly oppressive Old Testament. Religion is not compatible with science and truth. Global elites thrive on mass ignorance, elite media, feminism, social engineering social media,,drug addiction, junk food, mobile garbage, sport and alcoholism.

R J Cook

December 13th 2023

What’s the latest?

International Pressure To Stop Israel Gaza War, War Crime Acusations Abound From Liberal Left.

As we reach early evening here in London, here’s a quick recap of what’s happened so far today:

  • Israel’s foreign minister says Israel will continue the war “with or without international support”, after last night’s non-binding UN vote demanding a ceasefire in Gaza
  • The Hamas-run health ministry says 18,608 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war
  • Meanwhile, Israel says 10 IDF soldiers have been killed in northern Gaza – making it the deadliest day for the military since its ground offensive began
  • In the US, President Joe Biden has met family members of the American hostages in-person for the first time
  • And people have formed a human chain outside the Israeli parliament, demanding the release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas in Gaza
  • US and UK officials have announced a fresh wave of sanctions targeting individuals linked to Hamas
  • While the EU Commission President has called for sanctions on “extremist” Israeli settlers, who she says are responsible for attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank
  • And there have been warnings the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s ability to help is on the “verge of collapse”
  1. Israel’s foreign minister says the war in the Gaza Strip will continue “with or without international support”
  2. Eli Cohen says a ceasefire “at the current stage” would be a “gift to the terrorist organisation Hamas”
  3. The UN General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza
  4. And US President Joe Biden has said Israel was starting to lose global support over its “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza
  5. Meanwhile, an overnight storm has worsened the conditions for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have fled their homes
  6. Many are in makeshift shelters or sleeping rough
  7. Hamas broke through Israel’s heavily guarded perimeter on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages – some of whom were released during a brief truce
  8. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says 18,600 people have been killed and 50,000 injured in the enclave since the start of the war

Funeral for killed IDF soldier

As we’ve been reporting, Israel’s army says 10 soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Gaza on yesterday – making it the deadliest day for the military since its ground offensive began.

Among them was Lt Col Tomer Grinberg, whose funeral was held today in Jerusalem.

What’s the latest?

As we reach early evening here in London, here’s a quick recap of what’s happened so far today:

  • Israel’s foreign minister says Israel will continue the war “with or without international support”, after last night’s non-binding UN vote demanding a ceasefire in Gaza
  • The Hamas-run health ministry says 18,608 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war
  • Meanwhile, Israel says 10 IDF soldiers have been killed in northern Gaza – making it the deadliest day for the military since its ground offensive began
  • In the US, President Joe Biden has met family members of the American hostages in-person for the first time
  • And people have formed a human chain outside the Israeli parliament, demanding the release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas in Gaza
  • US and UK officials have announced a fresh wave of sanctions targeting individuals linked to Hamas
  • While the EU Commission President has called for sanctions on “extremist” Israeli settlers, who she says are responsible for attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank
  • And there have been warnings the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s ability to help is on the “verge of collapse”

Article share tools

Share this post

  • Copy this link

Read more about these links.

Posted at 17:5317:53

Funeral for killed IDF soldier

As we’ve been reporting, Israel’s army says 10 soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Gaza on yesterday – making it the deadliest day for the military since its ground offensive began.

Among them was Lt Col Tomer Grinberg, whose funeral was held today in Jerusalem.

Col Grinberg was killed in Gaza on TuesdayImage caption: Col Grinberg was killed in Gaza on Tuesday
Col Grinberg’s funeral was held in the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on WednesdayImage caption: Col Grinberg’s funeral was held in the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on Wednesday

Read more about these links.

Comment Across the western world, Islam has the upper hand politically. Western media has no mind to discuss the reality of Islam’s fundamentalist beliefs. Islam was a 7th century offshoot of Christianity – itself founded by a radical Jew, Jesus, as an alternative to Judaism. All established religions were political in origin and intent for the purposes of social control but only Islam has remained stuck in the awful violent Medieval period. Palestinians are jealous of the twice displaced Jews – firstly from their biblical homeland and then from Europe. The Palestinians covet what the Israelis have made of Israel since 1948, while they have prayed and overpopulated. The Muslims of Palestine want what Hitler’s Nazis called Lebensraum.

That is a Palestine from ‘the river to the sea.’ They and their western Islamic bretheren support a global spread, and then a takeover, of political Islam which is not compatible with any social, economic and technological progress. It is incompatible with ideas such as democracy, equality of opportunity, gender or concern for the environment. Nor is it conducive to global peace. The globalist Left ignores all of that however in its ongoing war on white culture and identity – happy to commit what it would call genocide.

R J Cook

Trump Is Right

President Trump called on the GOP to take urgent action after a poll revealed that one-in-five mail-in voters admitted to committing fraud in the 2020 election.

Trump Demands Action After 20 Percent of Mail-in Voters Admit to Fraud in 2020 Election Survey
Former President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in New York City, on Dec. 7, 2023. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

By Tom Ozimek


Former President Donald Trump issued an urgent call for action to his fellow Republicans over what he called “the biggest story of the year,” namely a survey showing that 20 percent of mail-in voters admitted to committing at least one kind of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The Heartland/Rasmussen poll, released on Dec. 12, suggests concerning levels of voter fraud in the 2020 election, bolstering President Trump’s longstanding claim that he was cheated out of a victory amid an explosion in mail-in ballots combined with state-level moves by the courts that made it easier to cheat.

The new survey shows 17 percent of mail-in voters admitting to voting in a state where they are no longer permanent residents; 21 percent filling out ballots for others; 17 percent signing ballots for family members without consent, and 8 percent reporting offers of “pay” or “reward” for their vote.

What’s more, 10 percent of all respondents to the survey (carried on a representative sample of 1,085 likely voters) said they know a friend, family member, co-worker, or other acquaintance who admitted to casting a mail-in ballot fraudulently.

Over 43 percent of 2020 votes were cast by mail, which is the highest percentage in U.S. history.

“Taken together, the results of these survey questions appear to show that voter fraud was widespread in the 2020 election, especially among those who cast mail-in ballots,” the Heartland Institute, a conservative and libertarian public policy think tank, said in a statement.

‘Biggest Story of The Year’

President Trump, who is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in the 2024 race for the White House, took to social media to call on Republicans to take action in response to the survey’s shocking results.

Related Stories

Trump Says Special Counsel’s Actions in 3 Courts Shows ‘Desperation’ for Rushed Trial


Trump Says Special Counsel's Actions in 3 Courts Shows 'Desperation' for Rushed Trial

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Healthcare Executive Given Clemency by Trump


Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Healthcare Executive Given Clemency by Trump

“This is the biggest story of the year, and Republicans must do something about it,” the former president wrote. Further, he suggested that unless something is done quickly to address the problem of voter fraud, the issue will cast a pall over the 2024 election.

“Have to make a move now,” President Trump continued. “Get tough, get smart. Our country is being stolen!”

While Democrats and their allies claim that election fraud is little more than a myth, President Trump has said for years that voter fraud is a pervasive problem in U.S. politics —and insists he was robbed of a win in the 2020 election.

Former Trump Official Responds to Idea of Trump Seeking Dictatorship | Capitol Report

In a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the former president spoke about what went into his decision to challenge the results.

“I was listening to different people. And when I added it all up, the election was rigged,” he said, adding that it was his choice to contest the results because “I won the election.”

‘Nothing Short of Stunning’

While Democrats and their allies, along with some in the scientific community, argue that voter fraud was so small in the 2020 elections as to be negligible, the findings of the Heartland/Rasmussen survey bolster President Trump’s claims that he was robbed of victory.

Justin Haskins, the director of Heartland’s Socialism Research Center and primary author of the Heartland/Rasmussen survey, said in a statement that the results of the poll are “nothing short of stunning.”

“For the past three years, Americans have repeatedly been told that the 2020 election was the most secure in history. But if this poll’s findings are reflective of reality, the exact opposite is true,” Mr. Haskins said. “This conclusion isn’t based on conspiracy theories or suspect evidence, but rather from the responses made directly by the voters themselves.”

Some progress has been made on election integrity measures in over a dozen states in the aftermath of the 2020 election, Mr. Haskins acknowledged. He insisted, however, that “much more” work is needed in most parts of the country to bolster the integrity of elections—and voter confidence that the results reflect the actual will of the people.

“If America’s election laws do not improve soon, voters and politicians will continue to question the truthfulness and fairness of all future elections,” Mr. Haskins said.


Some states have reformed their laws and procedures amid widespread vote integrity worries prompted by the 2020 presidential election controversy. However, according to conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, more needs to be done.

The group’s Election Integrity Scorecard shows that not a single state in the country has a perfect score in a checklist of 12 possible problem spots, including voter ID, accuracy of voter registration lists, and absentee ballot management.

Tennessee has the best election integrity procedures in the country, with a score of 88 (out of a possible 100), followed by Georgia at 84, Alabama at 82, and Missouri at 83.

Advertisement – Story continues below

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, recently wrote that “no state in the country has a perfect score of 100, which means everyone has some work to do.”

In order to make elections more secure and build shore-up public confidence that the declared results are legitimate, states should ensure that election officials maintain current, accurate voter rolls, he argues.

Further, they should require photo identification to cast a vote, both in person and absentee, according to Mr. Von Spakovsky, who also argues for a ban on partisan funding  of state and local election offices.

He pointed to the Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database as a constantly updated record of various cases of voter fraud from across the country.

“In an era of razor-thin elections, guarding against this type of illegal behavior, as well as errors made by election officials, is especially important,” he wrote.

“In 2024, it could prove critical.”

Write a comment…

Top Two Comments:



Over 100+ million Patriotic American voters stand with you President Trump & by your side! We will NEVER give up until we all have true justice and transparency in our corrupted election & judicial systems. WE WANT OUR VOTES COUNTED HONESTLY, NOT MANIPULATED! 💪🇺🇲 ⚖️🗽
Illegal elections have serious consequences= Joe Biden & the democrats plus any Rinos.
PRESIDENT Trump 2024❣️🇺🇲🗽



Brodie Brock


he was always RIGHT on this




Trump has told the truth about 2020 and did not incite a riot. The Democrats were, one way or another, responsible for that. Mainstream media ignores how Hilary Clinton et al raged about electoral corruption when Trump won in 2016. She carried on her rage in her femninist book after the event, never mentioning her sanctified husband Bill Clinton’s sex scandals – most notably what he did to vulnerable young intern Monica Lewinsky.

It is a bit much portraying Trump as a dicator considering that the Democrat Mafia were on his back before he even entered the Whitehouse. The Democrats are more than up to their old tricks again. Biden and his son must not be seen for what they are, as they and their mob lead the proxy war on Russia – under the absurd banner of fighting for the ideals of western style democracy.

That democracy has had Julian Assange locked up since leaking Anglo U.S War Crimes during the second Gulf War. God knows what has become of his source, Chelsea Manning. The fact that Ulraine is high on the list of the world’s most corrupt countries, further informs me as to what Western Style Democracies are. Among other things, they are corrupt police state dictatorships.’

R J Cook

December 11th 2023

UK to give two Royal Navy minehunter ships to Ukraine

File image from 2016 shows HMS Pembrok, a Sandown-class minehunter of the Royal Navy
Image caption, File image from 2016 shows HMS Pembrok, a Sandown-class minehunter of the Royal Navy

By Jonathan Beale & Sam Hancock

BBC News

The Royal Navy will transfer two of its minehunter ships to Ukraine in a bid to strengthen the country’s sea abilities, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the vessels would help to reopen “vital export routes” – limited since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

But questions remain over how they will be able to enter the Black Sea.

The MoD said the UK was also launching a “maritime coalition” with Norway, to garner long-term support for Ukraine.

Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, told BBC One’s Breakfast that the ships would make a “significant difference”, boosting efforts to clear mines from the Black Sea, and that the coalition would help build a Ukrainian navy fit to defend the country in the future.

He dismissed suggestions that western nations were losing interest in the war in Ukraine.

“We believe that we simply can’t have an outcome where an autocratic dictator walks into a neighbouring democratic country and then the West gets bored of it,” he said.

“That is an unacceptable outcome. That is why the UK will keep reminding people that that can’t happen.”

The defence secretary earlier said that the bid to improve Ukraine’s navy “marks the beginning of a new dedicated effort by the UK, Norway and our allies to strengthen Ukraine’s maritime capabilities… enhancing their ability to operate in defending their sovereign waters and bolstering security in the Black Sea”.

“As an island nation with a proud maritime history, the UK and Royal Navy are particularly well-placed to support this endeavour, which will form part of a series of new coalitions formed between allies to ensure an enduring military commitment in support of Ukraine.”

The provision of two Royal Navy minehunters to Ukraine has been in the works for a long time. They were part of a package of UK maritime support, promised before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Royal Navy has been training Ukrainian crews over the summer in how to use the ships.

However, there are still questions as to how or when they will be able to enter the Black Sea – with Turkey controlling access through the Bosphorus.

It highlights concerns about the immediate impact of maritime support on the war in Ukraine. Over the last six months, Ukraine has successfully targeted Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea – using drones and long range missiles.

The eastern European country still needs to rebuild its own navy, though, and to do that it will need not just support from western nations – such as the UK and Norway – but access to sail through the narrow strait between the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

After invading Ukraine last February, Russia’s navy blockaded the country’s Black Sea ports, causing both naval and export issues – including trapping 20 million tonnes of grain.

Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of crops such as sunflower oil, barley, maize and wheat.

“Strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU)’s maritime capabilities, in particular countering the threat from Russian sea mines, will help restore Ukraine’s maritime exports,” the MoD said.

In July 2022, a deal brokered by Turkey and the UN was agreed, allowing Ukraine to safely export grain from its Black Sea ports.

But Russia later pulled out, accusing Ukraine of a “massive” drone attack on its fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea.

As part of the new coalition between the UK and Norway, the MoD said there would be a focus on “the rapid development of a maritime force in the Black Sea, continuing to develop a Ukrainian Marine Corps, and river patrol craft to defend coastal and inland waterways”.

News Daily banner

Ukraine war: Zelensky heads to US in bid to rescue $60bn military aid

Volodymyr Zelensky and Joe Biden in the White House - September 2023
Image caption, Mr Zelensky met Mr Biden in Washington in September

By Anthony Zurcher & Robert Greenall

BBC News, in Washington DC & London

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Washington DC to try to rescue an imperilled US defence package to Kyiv worth billions of dollars.

The aid has become embroiled in US domestic, partisan politics, with Republicans demanding concessions on border funding in exchange.

It marks Mr Zelensky’s third visit to the US since Russia’s 2022 invasion.

The week is a crucial one for Ukraine, with the EU also deciding whether to open accession talks to the bloc.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has signalled that he opposes the move, and has the power to block such a decision.

Mr Orban and Mr Zelensky had an apparently intense conversation when they met on Sunday at the inauguration of Argentina’s new president. The details of their discussion have not been revealed.

The Ukrainian president will arrive in Washington on Monday. As well as holding meetings with US President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, he will address the Senate on Tuesday morning.

The White House said in a statement on Sunday that Mr Zelensky’s visit was meant “to underscore the United States’ unshakeable commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal invasion”.

The US military aid package, worth $60bn (£47.9bn; €55bn), is currently stalled in Congress, facing pushback from Republicans who argue that more money should be going to domestic security at the US-Mexico border.

A vote in the Senate last week saw a package, which included the funding but no border measures, blocked by Republicans.

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.51.0/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Watch: How US lawmakers are divided on Ukraine funding

In addition to more funds for border enforcement, Republicans are seeking reforms to the way in which undocumented migrants seeking political asylum in the US are processed.

“We’ve got to be able to have a change in policy on this,” Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, one of the lead Republican negotiators, said in an interview on Sunday.

“All we’re trying to do is to say what tools are needed to be able to get this back in control, so we don’t have the chaos on our southern border.”

Mr Lankford said that Americans don’t want US national security on the border to be ignored while Congress focuses on Ukraine’s interests.

Although the Biden administration has expressed a willingness to accept some asylum policy changes, such concessions risk angering liberal lawmakers and further dividing a party that has already been fractured by the president’s support of Israel in the Gaza War.

“We are concerned about reports of harmful changes to our asylum system that will potentially deny lifesaving humanitarian protection for vulnerable people, including children, and fail to deliver any meaningful improvement to the situation at the border,” a group of 11 Democratic senators wrote in a statement issued on 30 November.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, an ally of Mr Biden’s, has said that the White House is becoming “more engaged” in the ongoing negotiations, seeking a comprehensive funding agreement that includes money for Ukraine before Congress leaves for its holiday recess on Friday.

Even if the Senate can strike a deal, however, the package would have to also be approved by the House of Representatives, where opposition to more Ukraine aid is even more intense.

Mr Biden has been urging lawmakers to approve the funds. In an impassioned televised address last Wednesday, he said the package could not wait and warned that Russia would not stop at victory over Ukraine.

Though Ukraine fended off Russia’s original attack, its much-vaunted counter-attack this year has stalled and there have been signs of fatigue from some of the Western nations which have stepped up to support it militarily.

After the Senate vote, Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme that Ukrainians would be “in mortal danger” if Western countries did not continue their support.

“We really need the help. In simple words, we cannot get tired of this situation, because if we do, we die,” she said.

“And if the world gets tired, they will simply let us die.”

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.51.0/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Watch: Zelensky has animated chat with Orban

News Daily banner

Israel-Gaza: The status quo is smashed. The future is messy and dangerous

By Jeremy Bowen

BBC international editor

At the end of the war that started on 7 October lies a big, unknown place called the future. The old status quo was dangerous and painful, especially for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. But it was familiar. Then after 7 October it was smashed by the Hamas attacks, and Israel’s response.

The shock of war can speed up change, when it sweeps away old thinking, forcing difficult choices for a better future. Or it drives leaders and their citizens deeper into their bunkers, as they prepare for the next round.

For more than a century, Jews and Arabs have been confronting each other, and sometimes going to war, over control of the small, highly coveted piece of land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Perhaps the safest, saddest bet is to assume that the conflict, reshaped, will go on. After all, that is what has happened after every other Middle East war since 1948, when Israel won its independence.

But there are other options. Here are some of the arguments made by individuals at the centre of events.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel’s prime minister has not spelt out his plan for the day after, if he has one. His opponents in Israel, who blame him for security and intelligence failures that made the Hamas attacks on 7 October possible, say Netanyahu’s only real plan is to stay in power and avoid conviction on the serious corruption charges he faces.

Netanyahu built his career on the message he was Mr Security, the only man who could keep Israel safe. Hamas shattered his brand, which was already badly damaged by political strife inside Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in Belrin in March
Image caption, Netanyahu has not spelt out his plans for Gaza after the war ends

The prime minister’s broad statements about what happens after the war, assuming Israel can declare victory, all point to continued occupation of Gaza. Israeli officials have reportedly talked about setting up buffer zones along the border, without offering any details.

Netanyahu has rejected a role for foreign peacekeepers, assuming they can be found. Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi has already said that Arab states would not “clean the mess” left by Israel.

“There will be no Arab troops going to Gaza. None. We are not going to be seen as the enemy.”

Netanyahu has also dismissed US President Joe Biden’s plan to replace Hamas with the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu claims the PA cannot be trusted and supports terrorism, even though it recognises Israel and cooperates with it on security.

Joe Biden

President Biden’s vision of the future is very different to Benjamin Netanyahu’s. Biden continues to give considerable military, diplomatic and emotional support to Israelis. He visited, embraced the families of hostages and has ordered his diplomats at the United Nations Security Council to use the US veto to block ceasefire resolutions. Biden ordered two aircraft carrier strike groups to the region and has sent Israel vast amounts of weaponry.

In return, the US president wants Israel to return to some kind of revitalised peace process. He wants the Palestinian Authority (PA) eventually to run Gaza while Israel agrees arrangements for an independent Palestine alongside Israel.

The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas agrees. He has largely been a bystander since 7 October. In a rare interview this week, with Reuters, he said there should be a peace conference after the war to work out a political solution that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Joe Biden holds a press conference following a solidarity visit to Israel in October
Image caption, Biden wants a revitalised peace process in the region

The “two state solution” has been the official objective of America and its western allies since the early 1990s. Years of negotiations to make it happen failed. For almost a quarter of a century, since the peace process collapsed, the phrase has been an empty slogan. Biden wants to revive it, arguing correctly that only a political solution will end the conflict.

Biden sent his vice president, Kamala Harris, to Dubai last week to make a speech laying out America’s red lines for Gaza on the day after.

She laid out five principles.

“No forcible displacement, no re-occupation, no siege or blockade, no reduction in territory, and no use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism.”

“We want to see a unified Gaza and West Bank under the Palestinian Authority, and Palestinian voices and aspirations must be at the centre of this work.”

In and out of office, Benjamin Netanyahu has worked consistently hard to thwart Palestinian independence. It is safe to say he is not about to change his mind. If the two-state solution can be revived, it won’t happen while he is prime minister.

Simcha Rotman

I went to see Simcha Rotman at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, where he is a prominent MP for the far-right Religious Zionist Party. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu depends on the support of Rotman’s party and other hard-line Jewish nationalists. Their power comes from the dynamism of the movement to settle Jews on the land captured in 1967. From that moment of victory, some Israelis were set on extending the Zionist enterprise into the newly occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Since 1967 they have been highly successful, despite being forced to leave Gaza when Israel pulled out in 2005. Around 700,000 Israeli Jews now live in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Settler leaders are in the cabinet, and their enterprise is at the centre of Israeli politics.

Israeli Parliament member Simcha Rotman speaks during a parliament meeting in Jerusalem in July
Image caption, Simcha Rotman is a prominent MP for the far-right Religious Zionist Party

Now that Israel is fighting Hamas, vowing to smash the organisation once and for all, Jewish nationalists see the biggest opportunity they have had since 1967, when Israel beat all its Arab neighbours in a war that lasted for six days.

Since 7 October, armed settlers in the West Bank, backed by soldiers and police, have prevented Palestinian farmers from harvesting their olives or tending their fields. Settlers have paved illegal roads and sought to entrench themselves even deeper by consolidating outposts that are illegal under Israeli as well as international law. Posters are everywhere demanding the return of Jewish settlers to Gaza.

Settlers have also killed Palestinians and invaded their homes. Men with bulldozers came at night to destroy the tiny village of Khirbet Zanuta, near Hebron. Its population of 200 Palestinians had already left, forced out by armed and aggressive settlers.

International law says an occupying power should not settle its citizens in land it has captured. Israel says the law does not apply.

“Occupation is not the word,” Simcha Rotman told me at the Knesset.

“You cannot occupy your own land. Israel is not an occupier in Israel because that’s the land of Israel.”

For Simcha Rotman and other Jewish nationalists, Gaza is also part of the land of Israel.

“We need to make sure that the only people that are in charge of our security in the land of Israel are the IDF [Israel Defence Forces]. We cannot have any terrorist organisation, doesn’t matter what its name. Would it be Hamas? Would it be Fatah? Doesn’t matter. The terrorist organisation cannot have control of our lives.”

Mustafa Barghouthi

If there are Palestinian elections after the 7 October war ends, Mustafa Barghouti is likely to run for president. He is the secretary general of the Palestine National Initiative. It wants to be the third force in Palestinian politics, an alternative to the Islamist extremists in Hamas and to Fatah, the faction led by President Mahmoud Abbas, which it regards as corrupt and incompetent. Barghouthi believes resistance to occupation is legitimate and legal, though he wants it to be non-violent.

In his office in Ramallah on the West Bank, Mustafa Barghouthi told me that Israel is using the war to deliver a crushing blow not just to Hamas but to the idea of Palestinian independence and freedom. Like many Palestinians, Barghouthi sees what’s happening as a grim echo of the events of 1948 when Israel won its independence and more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced at gunpoint to leave their homes in what became Israel. Palestinians call it al-Naqba, “the catastrophe” and believe Israel wants it to happen again.

Mustafa Barghouti speaks at a news conference in 2014
Image caption, Mustafa Barghouti is the secretary general of the Palestine National Initiative

“I am 100% sure that their main goal right from the beginning was the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, complete ethnic cleansing of Gaza, trying to push people to Egypt, a terrible war crime. And if they managed to do so, I think their next goal will be to try to ethnically cleanse the West Bank and force people to join them.”

“If they fail to ethnically cleanse all Gazans, I am sure that Netanyahu’s plan B is to annexe Gaza City and the north of Gaza completely to Israel and claim it as a security area.”

Barghouthi warns that Israel faces dire prospects if its troops stay in Gaza long term.

“Israel did that before and it didn’t work. And there will be resistance to their occupation, which they cannot tolerate. And that’s why Netanyahu’s goal really is to ethnically cleanse people. He wants to have military control of Gaza without people. He knows very well that Gaza with people is something that is unmanageable.”

Barghouthi believes Gaza should be part of a democratic Palestinian state.

“We Palestinians are grown up people. We don’t need any patronage of anybody. And no, we don’t need any other country to tell us how we should rule ourselves.”

This crisis looks as if it will have more chapters. The US veto of the latest ceasefire resolution at the UN Security Council gives Israel more time to wage war. But that extra time is not indefinite, and continued Biden support for Israel carries a political price in America’s coming election year. Influential members of his own Democratic party oppose what he’s doing, and so do younger voters whose support he needs. The Biden Administration is already deeply uncomfortable that Israel is ignoring its repeated requests to protect civilians and respect the laws of war.

Israel may struggle to achieve the crushing victory Benjamin Netanyahu has promised. He set a high bar for victory; not just annihilating Hamas as a military force, but also destroying its capacity to govern. Israel’s vast military power, reinforced by American resupply, has not yet destroyed the capacity of Hamas to fight. The Hamas creed of Islamist nationalism is also embedded in the minds of many Palestinians. Guns often don’t kill ideas but reinforce them.

The future is messy and dangerous. The war in Gaza will not end neatly.

More from the Israel Gaza briefings

Related Topics

Hamas says no hostages to leave Gaza alive unless demands met


Hamas has warned that no hostages would leave Gaza alive unless its demands were met.

“Neither the fascist enemy and its arrogant leadership… nor the supporters behind them… can take their prisoners alive without exchanging, negotiating, and agreeing to the terms of the resistance,” Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said in an audio clip posted on Sunday on the military wing’s Telegram channel.

Pressure has been growing on officials over the 138 people still being held by Hamas and other armed groups.

Israel has repeatedly pledged to do everything it can to rescue the remaining hostages. Some 110 hostages have been released in total– but a week-long truce under which dozens were freed ended last week and since then Israel has resumed its bombing of Gaza.


  1. Hamas has threatened that not a single hostage will be allowed to leave Gaza alive unless its demands for a prisoner exchange are met
  2. But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says dozens of Hamas militants have surrendered and he described the situation as “the beginning of the end” for the group
  3. Israel has ordered civilians to flee the centre of Khan Younis – with an official saying he doesn’t want civilians caught up in the “difficult fighting” there
  4. Key mediator Qatar says the chances of a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are “narrowing”, but has vowed to keep up the pressure on both sides
  5. Hamas attacked Israel nine weeks ago – killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages, some of whom were released during a short-lived truce
  6. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has said Israel has killed about 18,000 people in its retaliatory campaign

Comment HAMAS are war criminals, rapists and more besides. The remaining hostages are probably dead. If Israel wants to survive, it cannot do business with them and their hideous version of Islam. They started this. Islamic countries do not do multi culture or two state solutions. They believe that only they have the truth.

R J Cook

December 9th 2023

Putin’s Russia is closing in on a devastating victory. Europe’s foundations are trembling

Kyiv’s counter-offensive has ended in failure. This could be Nato’s Suez moment

Europe’s foundations are trembling. We need to talk about Ukraine. While the world’s attention has been focused on the war between Israel and Hamas, grim tremors have been shaking that rich, black soil.


Comment The moralising corrupt sophisticated police strate west has reason to fear. They have diverted the greedy global economy on a gamble of regime change in Russia, more weapon sales and reconstruction contracts.. Their notion of a short cut through Crimea will bring the nukes to Europe. The elite are egomaniacs and hubristic. I doubt they will accept defeat.

R J Cook

December 8th 2023

Hamas condemns Israel over images showing detained Palestinians in underwear

By Nidal Al-Mughrabi

December 8, 20234:50 PM GMTUpdated an hour ago

[1/5]Captured and detained Palestinians sit on a street in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, as Israeli soldiers stand guard, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas this handout image obtained by Reuters on December 8, 2023. Acquire Licensing Rights

  • Summary
  • Images on social media show detained men semi-naked
  • Senior Hamas official condemns Israeli forces over images
  • Israel says men were in areas they were told to evacuate

CAIRO, Dec 8 (Reuters) – A senior Hamas official accused Israeli forces on Friday of carrying out a “heinous crime against innocent civilians” after images of detained Palestinian men stripped to their underwear in Gaza circulated on social media.

Izzat El-Reshiq, who is in exile abroad, urged international human rights organisations to intervene to show what happened to the men and help secure their release.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was concerned by the images and that all detainees must be treated with humanity and dignity in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Advertisement · Scroll to continue

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, whose country backs Hamas, also criticised Israel, accusing it on X of “barbarity in the treatment of innocent captives and citizens”.

Israeli TV On Thursday showed footage, which Reuters has verified, of what it said were captured Hamas fighters, stripped to their underwear with heads bowed sitting in a Gaza City street.

“We are talking about individuals who are apprehended in Jabalia and Shejaiya (in Gaza city), Hamas strongholds and centres of gravity,” Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy told a briefing when asked about the images.

“We are talking about military-age men who were discovered in areas that civilians were supposed to have evacuated weeks ago.”

Israeli’s military has been telling civilians to leave areas where it plans to operate after launching its campaign to eliminate Hamas in Gaza following the Islamist militant group’s Oct. 7 killing spree in Israel.

One photo showed more than 20 male detainees kneeling on the pavement or in the street, with Israeli soldiers looking on and dozens of shoes and sandals abandoned in the road. A similar number of detainees, also semi-naked, were crammed into the back of a truck nearby.

Some Palestinians said they recognised relatives in the images and denied they had links to Hamas or any other group. Some, they said, were boys or youths.

Reshiq said the detainees had been captured at a school in Gaza that was being used as a shelter after weeks of Israeli bombardments that have displaced many Gazans.


Hamas held Israeli forces responsible for the lives and safety of the detained men, Reshiq added.

“And we urge human rights organizations to immediately intervene to expose this heinous crime against innocent civilians taking refuge in a school, that had turned into a shelter because of Zionist aggression and massacres, and to put pressure by all means to secure their release,” he said.

The London-based Arabic language news outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said one of the men detained was its correspondent Diaa Kahlout. It urged the international community and rights groups to denounce the arrest of journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists called for his release.

Some Palestinians identified the place where the men were captured as the northeastern town of Beit Lahia, an area that Israel had warned civilians to leave and has been encircled and besieged by Israeli tanks for weeks. Reuters confirmed the location was Beit Lahia

Hani Almadhoun, a Palestinian American based in Virginia, said he saw relatives in one image including his 12-year-old nephew, and that they had no links to Hamas or other factions.

“We strongly emphasize the importance of treating all those detained with humanity and dignity, in accordance with international humanitarian law,” Jessica Moussan, ICRC Media Relations Advisor, Middle East, said in a statement.

Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian Mission in London, said on X the images evoked “some of humanity’s darkest passages of history.” Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi said on X the incident was “blatant attempt at the humiliation & degradation of Palestinian men…stripped & displayed like war trophies”.

Additional reporting by Reuters reporters in Beirut and Jerusalem, Writing by Timothy Heritage, Editing by Angus MacSwan

Why October 7th Happened By R J Cook


Mainstream media makes no mention that situation between Israel and Gaza has anything to do with Vladimir Putin stirring things up because Anglo – U.S led NATO set him up for war in Ukraine .To put matters mildly, this has created an impossible conflict for Biden’s United States. Biden and his son have made serious money from Ukraine. The latter is now facing multi million tax fraud charges, which is interesting given what hell the Democrats have put Trump through absolute hell since the day he was elected President. I have no doubt that there would have been no Ukraine war if Trump was in charge.

So far, the western elite have spent $246 billion supporting the nasty corrupt fake democracy of Ukraine’s ‘freedom fight’ against Russia. All of this is taxpayer’s money. Who voted for that. Hungary is being chastised and ignored for voting against what looks like the inevitability of Nuclear War. A former Ukrainian has been assassinated for voicing a similar opinion – declaimed as a traitor in a Ukraine under Martial Law. International Law is applied selectively which is why Assange has been illegally jailed for outing Anglo U.S War Crimes with strong evidence.

Sky News is playing in the background as I write, Sky News is playing. A female Palestinian journalist is dodging serious questions accusing mainstream media of believing the Israel Defence Force when only the Palestinian press tells the truth, so the West must understand that. For her there is no doubt that making HAMAS suspects strip then sit in lines along a street, is a war crime. She refused to discuss the real war crimes of beheading Israel babies and children, even ripping open a pregnant woman’s belly, removing and killing the unborn child before slaughtering the mother’s and her terrified screaming family. Al Jazeera TV News featured a spot where one man raged against Israel weaponising the fact that Muslim men had been raping their October 7th victims with a number of hostages, already known to be murdered.

U.S Muslims and their politically correct supporters are talking about alternative political parties and presidential candidates. That may be something for the future as the Islamic population grows and the whites diminish. That is a situation rapidly developing in tiny overpopulated U.K. Here 90% of the population live on 10% of the land. The other 10% of the population own 90% of the land.

This is in the fabulous British Democracy, where the most popular newspaper is the moronic ‘Sun’.

Already, U.S Muslims have an inordinate influence in marginal states in a large nation where the balance between Republicans and Democrats is always tight – hence Hilary Clinton alleged that Trump’s 2016 victory was rigged. She wrote about it in her book and got away with it. They are still trying to jail Trump for saying the same thing – using all sorts of pretexts including rape and business fraud. This mentality is extant across these disingenuous democracies.

So it is incredible, absurd and outrageous that HAMAS considers it reasonable to condemn Israel for the standard strip search process used not only in warfare but in Britain’s appalling jails where too many innocent men end up. I have experienced the humiliations of the British injustice system far too many times. This country’s chattering classes and ruling elite have no grounds to criticise Israel which is fighting for its’ life – like Russia.

The West does not like talking about Islam. Its acolytes and indoctrinated masses of followers see no wrong in HAMAS brutality. Killing the infidel and raping their women is written into the Koran. As a former head of religious education in a large secondary modern school, where many of my pupils were young Muslims, I learned more than they did. Their minds were long closed so it was no good telling them about Jesus Christ being the 9th prophet of Islam or how Mohammed had rewritten Christianity for his own soon to be powerful spin off from Roman Catholicism – which decedent Romans invented to frighten their recalcitrant masses into submission. Worse still, one could not tell them that Jesus was a breakaway Jew. The wonder of Islam for social control purposes is that it is locked in the OCD Medieval world. It is not compatible with reason and diversity. The Caliphate is all about world domination. For them , non believers are on the road to hell and in their way. That is why October 7th 2023 happened.

R J Cook

December 4th 2023

Medieval Madness – Is Islamophobia Such A Surprise.

Hamas raped men as well as women during October 7 attack: Investigators reveal how sex assault victims were tied up, stripped and mutilated as Israel launches i…

The great wars of the 20th century had, at least, some clarity in their origins. Franz Ferdinand gets shot in Sarajevo. Germany invades Poland.

Welcome to Balance of Power, bringing you the latest in global politics. If you haven’t yet, sign up here.The great wars of the 20th century had, at least, some clarity in their origins. Franz Ferdinand gets shot in Sarajevo. Germany invades Poland. Today, conflicts are proliferating across several continents, localized and yet interconnected at the same time.The latest, the Israel-Hamas war, resumed today in the Gaza Strip after a week-long truce mediated mainly by Qatar with help from the US and Egypt.Some officials and investors suggest the web of overlapping conflicts stretching from West Africa through Ukraine to the Middle East could be the prelude to another global conflagration. That this time it begins not with a bang, but with several.Iran-backed Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s invasion of Gaza have stoked concerns of violence spreading across the Middle East region.Fighting in Ukraine was well into its second year when the war between Israel and Hamas broke out. Islamists have been involved in a string of coups in sub-Saharan Africa, while Azerbaijan recently carried out a lightning capture of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been contested for decades with Armenia.All of which raises the risk that the world’s frozen conflicts are starting to run hot as the US, Russia, Iran and its Arab neighbors scramble to protect their interests, mirroring the great power rivalries of the last century.Hedge fund veterans such as Paul Tudor Jones have suggested that picture carries echoes of the period before World War I, when the alliances around Germany, France, the UK and Russia dragged Europe into a continental conflict. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis put it more succinctly: “History rhymes.”And that’s without considering China’s intentions toward Taiwan, which could potentially trigger a confrontation with the US.While there are plenty of incentives to pull back from the abyss, as we saw in 1914, what look like confined incidents can have catastrophic consequences. — Isobel FinkelSmoke billows in Rafah in southern Gaza after an Israeli air raid today.  Photographer: said Khatib/Getty Images
Global Must Reads
The end of the Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza came with mutual accusations of violations of the agreement that saw hostages exchanged for Palestinians held in Israeli jails. The US has told Israeli leaders not to repeat the scale of destruction and displacement inflicted on northern Gaza. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s goal of destroying Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, looks elusive, with the group’s fighters dug in in tunnels beneath Gaza and its popularity growing in the West bank.The COP28 climate summit got off to a good start, with United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed today pledging $30 billion to help finance climate solutions. Yesterday delegates from nearly 200 countries agreed on details for running a new fund designed to help vulnerable countries deal with more extreme weather stoked by global warming.  Solar-powered e-trees in Dubai on Tuesday.    Photographer: Annie Sakkab/BloombergSince a meeting with President Joe Biden last month steadied US-China ties, Xi Jinping has unleashed a flurry of measures designed to restore foreign investors’ shattered confidence in China. Implementing what the official Xinhua News Agency referred to as “the San Francisco vision” is of key importance, and a meeting of the Politburo that the Chinese president chaired called for “high-level opening up,” a slogan associated with more market access.The US and three allies imposed sanctions on North Korea for its spy satellite launch, with a primary target being an arms-trading company that has been subject to international punishment for more than a decade. Australia, Japan and South Korea joined Washington in taking the measures against foreign-based agents of North Korea.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has an edge over the opposition in two key state elections, exit polls show. While the surveys aren’t definitive, and the votes aren’t a proxy for the national ballot in 2024, a win for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan would put Modi in a strong position next year. Venezuela said it was allowing barred opposition candidates to appeal their cases, a concession made just ahead of yesterday’s deadline for President Nicolas Maduro to offer guarantees toward free elections or risk reimposition of sanctions by Washington.  Argentina won’t join the China-led BRICS bloc during Javier Milei’s presidency, his incoming top diplomat said, underscoring the significant foreign policy shift his administration plans once in office.UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said his “patience is wearing thin” over the inability to push through its flagship Rwanda deportation plan for illegal migrants.
Washington Dispatch
As the US House today prepares for a vote to expel Representative George Santos of New York, another Republican — former Speaker Kevin McCarthy — says he may not run again.McCarthy, who represents a district in California, has not announced a decision, and has until Dec. 8 to file for reelection. There has been some speculation that he might leave before the end of his current term. He said at a New York Times Dealbook event this week that his tumultuous ouster from the speakership in October led him to consider his future.As for Santos, he held a defiant press conference outside the Capitol yesterday, but seemed resigned to removal from office. The latest effort to expel him unfolded after the House Ethics Committee accused him of misuse of campaign funds and fraud and he faces a 23-count criminal indictment back in New York.The departures of both Santos and McCarthy would cut the already narrow Republican majority, creating one more problem for McCarthy’s successor, Mike Johnson.One thing to watch today: The ISM manufacturing gauge for November is forecast to show another month of contraction.Sign up for the Washington Edition newsletter for more from the US capital and watch Balance of Power at 5pm ET weekdays on Bloomberg Television.
Chart of the Day
A climate crisis is playing out across Ivory Coast and Ghana, with consequences for global food inflation and the cost-of-living squeeze. Incessant rain is lowering output and delaying harvests of cocoa in the world’s biggest producers, with the resulting shortfall catapulting wholesale prices for the chocolate ingredient to their highest in 46 years.
And Finally
The “Gateway to Europe” stands under Lampedusa’s scorching sun on a cliff not far from the port where tourists disembark. Stefania D’Ignoti writes that the giant doorway was supposed to be a temporary installation. But since the tiny Italian island became the frontier for refugees, local officials made it a fixture as a reminder of the thousands of lives lost at sea attempting to reach Europe. It’s just one of many migration memorabilia that have reshaped Lampedusa’s landscape and identity. Migrants waiting to board the Lampedusa ferry. Photographer: Valeria Ferraro/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesPop quiz (no cheating!) Which billionaire told advertisers shunning his business to “F— themselves? Send your answers to balancepower@bloomberg.net.
More from Bloomberg Watch the Bloomberg Investigates film series about untold stories and unraveled mysteries Green Daily for the latest in climate news, zero-emission tech and green finance  Listen to The Big Take podcast the US focus on China’s military capability. It’s also available on iHeart, Apple Podcasts and Spotify Bloomberg Opinion for a roundup of our most vital opinions on business, politics, economics, tech and more Next Africa, a twice-weekly newsletter on where the continent stands now — and where it’s headed Economics Daily for what the changing landscape means for policy makers, investors and you Explore more newsletters at Bloomberg.com.
In depth: ‘The window of opportunity is closing for Israel’
Palestinians flee from east to west of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on Saturday.
The seven-day ceasefire in Gaza that saw the release of 105 Israeli hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners now seems a very long time ago. Ismael al-Thawabteh, the director general of the government media office in Hamas-run Gaza, said yesterday that more than 700 Palestinians had been killed in 24 hours, while the health ministry said later that 316 had been killed “in the past hours”. The heaviest attacks have been in and around the city of Khan Younis, in the south of the strip.People in areas to the south-east of the city have now been told by the Israeli military to leave, apparently paving the way for a ground incursion. “As soon as the truce ended, it was clear that the focus would now be on the south, and Khan Younis in particular,” Dan Sabbagh said. “That is where Israel believes Hamas’ leadership to be hiding out.” Israel’s political and military leadership argue that if they can kill senior Hamas commanders, they will take a significant step towards forcing the organisation’s collapse.In the first phase of the conflict, Israel’s attacks produced limited diplomatic pressure from its allies; most significantly, the US placed few practical limits on its support, though it decried the loss of civilian life.

Now it is taking a firmer line on the avoidance of civilian casualties. But it is not yet clear how deeply that will impact Israel’s strategy.What is the US saying about the new phase of the war?“Israel arguably has a higher toleraance for international condemnation of its actions than almost any other country,” Dan said. The only country with the leverage to seriously affect its actions is the United States. And in the last few days, US public statements have taken on a new tone.On Thursday, US secretary of state Antony Blinken was reported to have told Israel’s war cabinet that it may only have weeks to complete its plan to defeat Hamas in Gaza. In a press conference, he said that he had “underscored the imperative – for the United States – that the massive loss of civilian life and displacement of the scale that we saw in northern Gaza not be repeated in the South.” That warning was echoed by US vice-president Kamala Harris and defence secretary Lloyd Austin over the weekend.“There is a sense that the window of opportunity is closing for Israel,” Dan said. “It is clearly having to frame its strategy in a way that keeps the US on board.” But more consequential than US public statements will be whether it backs them up with concrete actions. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported (£) a surge in US arms supplied to Israel since the war began, with tens of thousands of bombs and shells including heavy “bunker busters” provided on top of billions of dollars’ worth of existing annual support for its military operations. “One question is whether the military support continues in spite of the political narrative,” Dan said.Have US warnings led to a change in Israel’s strategy?Israel has devised a new map which subdivides Gaza into hundreds of small blocs, which it is using to announce its evacuation orders.

Israel points to that initiative as evidence of its desire to protect civilians by focusing on the most precise areas possible and giving people time to flee by announcing them ahead of its attacks. By Sunday, residents of 34 of the blocs, all of them in and around Khan Younis, had been told to depart for safer territory. Israel’s minister of strategic affairs Ron Dermer called that approach “unprecedented”, adding: “If we wanted to do it fast, we’d harm a lot more civilians.”But that system has come under heavy criticism from agencies and aid workers on the ground, who say that a map accessed via a QR code on social media posts and leaflets dropped into Khan Younis will be of little use to those without access to reliable internet services – or electricity to charge their phones. Rohan Talbot, advocacy director at the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, said that it amounted to nothing more than a “macabre game of Battleships”.

There have been reports of bombing outside the designated areas.“One problem is whether enough time is being given to civilians to escape,” Dan said. “The bombing started on Friday more or less as the leaflets were dropped. So there is some scepticism about whether this is truly a different strategy.” Fundamentally, he added, critics of Israel’s approach say that “whether you cut the cake into large pieces or small pieces, it amounts to the same thing. They ask where civilians are supposed to go to be safe.” Many have already fled from the bombardment in the north, and may fear that wherever they head next will also be targeted. “People who fled to Khan Younis can’t go back to the north, where large areas are a wasteland anyway,” Dan said. “The safe spaces in the south are being reduced too.”Nonetheless, the US signalled on Sunday that it viewed the grid approach as evidence that Israel was taking its stance seriously. “We believe they have been receptive to our messages here of trying to minimise civilian casualties,” US national security council spokesperson John Kirby told ABC yesterday, pointing to the map as evidence. “There’s not a whole lot of modern militaries that would do that … to telegraph their punches in that way. So they are making an effort.”What does all this mean for Palestinian civilians?

The Israeli maps feature large arrows pointing residents of the targeted areas around Khan Younis in the general direction of humanitarian shelters and a so-called “humanitarian zone” towards the coast, where the IDF has previously said that “international humanitarian aid will be provided as needed”. But there are urgent questions about whether there will be any real measure of safety when aid supplies are already drying up under the pressure of vast numbers of displaced people.The UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, said on Saturday that about 1.8 million Palestinians have already been internally displaced – close to 80% of the Gaza Strip’s population. (It added that “obtaining an accurate count is challenging”.)

The UN’s high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, told the BBC that people in Gaza are being “pushed more and more towards a narrow corner of what is already a very narrow territory”. And despite an increase in aid being allowed into Gaza during the pause, the supplies are still dwarfed by the need, Dan said.“This is already a very severe humanitarian crisis,” he added. “But it is at risk of getting even more severe. Shelters are already badly overcrowded – there’s one in Khan Younis designed for 1,000 people where there are now 35,000, with 600 people to every toilet. There is anxiety that there will not be enough fuel to run desalination plants that provide a lot of people with drinking water. And there has been no real opportunity in the last week for aid agencies to do a serious needs assessment for different areas.”If a ground offensive now develops in the south, civilians will nonetheless have little alternative but to run again.

Some are deeply sceptical that doing so will save their lives. Halima Abdel-Rahman, a widow and mother of four who has already fled her home for Khan Younis, told the Associated Press she would no longer listen to evacuation orders. “The occupation tells you to go to this area, then they bomb it,” she said. “The reality is that no place is safe in Gaza.”

December 3rd 2023

Henry Kissinger’s Cambodia legacy of bombs and chaos

Henry Kissinger in the early 1990s
Image caption, Henry Kissinger died this week at the age of 100

By Ouch Sony & George Wright

BBC News, Phnom Penh and London

When news of Henry Kissinger’s death spread this week, many former world leaders lined up to pay tribute.

Former US President George W Bush said the US had “lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs”.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair described the ex-US secretary of state as an artist of diplomacy, who was motivated by “a genuine love of the free world and the need to protect it”. Boris Johnson called Kissinger “a giant of diplomacy and strategy – and peace-making”.

But peacemaker is not a term you’re likely to hear many in Cambodia use when describing Henry Kissinger.

During the Vietnam War, Kissinger and then-President Richard Nixon ordered clandestine bombing raids on neutral Cambodia, in an effort to flush out Viet Cong forces in the east of country.

Altogether, the US dropped more than 2 million tons of bombs on Cambodia from 1965-1973. For context, the Allies dropped just over 2 million tons of bombs during the whole of World War II, including the bombs that struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Kissinger maintained that the bombing was aimed at the Vietnamese army inside Cambodia, not at the country itself.

Vorng Chhut sits outside his home in Svay Rieng, Cambodia
Image caption, Vorng Chhut recalls people being killed by the US bombing

Vorng Chhut, 76, had never heard the name Henry Kissinger when bombs started dropping down on his village in Svay Rieng province, near the Vietnamese border.

“Nothing was left, not even the bamboo trees. People escaped, while those who stayed in the village died,” he said. “A lot of people died, I can’t count all their names. The bodies were swollen and when it became quiet, people would come and bury the bodies.”

A 2006 Yale University report, Bombs Over Cambodia, stated that “Cambodia may be the most heavily bombed country in history”.

A Pentagon report released in 1973 stated that “Kissinger approved each of the 3,875 Cambodia bombing raids in 1969 and 1970” as well as “the methods for keeping them out of the newspapers”.

“It’s an order, it’s to be done. Anything that flies, on anything that moves. You got that?” Kissinger told a deputy in 1970, according to declassified transcripts of his telephone conversations.

The number of people killed by those bombs is not known, but estimates range from 50,000 to upwards of 150,000.

Samrong, Cambodia, 1973
Image caption, The US dropped more than 2 million tons of bombs on Cambodia

One of the most notorious incidents was the accidental bombing of the small town of Neak Luong, where at least 137 Cambodians were killed and another 268 were wounded.

A New York Times report by Sydney Schanberg, who was later portrayed in the film the Killing Fields, quoted a man called Keo Chan, whose wife and 10 children had just been killed.

“All my family is dead!” he cried, beating his hand on the wooden bench where he had collapsed. “All my family is dead! Take my picture, take my picture! Let the Americans see me!”

Another man stood near an unexploded bomb in the town asked simply: “When are you Americans going to take it away?”

Unexploded American bombs littered the Cambodian countryside, maiming and killing people for decades to come.

Many also say that another consequence of Nixon and Kissinger’s bombing campaign was that it helped pave the way for one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. Around 1.7 million people died at the hands of the Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979 – almost a quarter of the population.

A young Cambodian woman looks at the main stupa in Choeung Ek Killing Fields in 2014
Image caption, An estimated 1.7 million died under Khmer Rouge rule

Prior to that, the ultra-communists had little support, but its ranks grew as American bombs fell.

The CIA’s director of operations reported in 1973 the Khmer Rouge forces were successfully “using damage by B-52 strikes as the main theme of their propaganda”.

In 2009, the first Khmer Rouge official to be tried for crimes committed under the regime’s reign of terror told the UN-backed court: “Mr Richard Nixon and Kissinger allowed the Khmer Rouge to grasp golden opportunities.”

Kissinger always pushed back on criticism regarding the bombing of Cambodia.

“I just wanted to make clear that it was not a bombing of Cambodia, but it was a bombing of North Vietnamese in Cambodia,” he said in 1973.

When he was 90, he claimed bombs were only dropped on areas “within five miles of the Vietnamese border that were essentially unpopulated”.

Richard Nixon points at a map of Cambodia
Image caption, Richard Nixon, seen here pointing at a map of Cambodia, and Kissinger ordered clandestine bombing raids on Cambodia

Elizabeth Becker, an American journalist who covered the bombing campaign in 1973, said this was not the case.

“First you interviewed the refugees as they were coming away from the bombing, then you’d go to the bombing and there were moonscapes – you’d see the corpses of buffalo, you’d see houses burned, the rice fields gutted,” she told the BBC.

“You saw the destruction and you thought: why was this modern air force bombing the countryside so much? In those days the farmers of Cambodia weren’t even used to seeing motor vehicles, they routinely said to me: ‘Why is fire falling from the sky?'”

Pen Yai, 78, cooperated with the Viet Cong inside Cambodia before the bombing started, but said large numbers of civilians were killed by American bombs, including his father and brother-in-law.

“I was so scared and could not sleep. People died everywhere. We just ran and recognised people who had been killed… we could not do anything,” he said.

Many world leaders have praised Kissinger, who shared the 1973 Nobel peace prize for his role in negotiating an end to the Vietnam war and was later handed the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian award.

Prum Hen sits outside her home
Image caption, Prum Hen says she is still angry at the US to this day

But few who were in Cambodia in the 1970s will remember his legacy fondly.

Prum Hen, 70, was forced to flee her village when American bombs started raining down. She said she knew little about Kissinger and felt little sympathy when informed of his death.

“Let him die because he killed a lot of our people,” she said, adding that she still feels deep resentment towards the US.

“They bombed our country, killing a lot of people and separating people from their children. Later on, the Khmer Rouge killed husbands, wives and children.”

Ms Becker said the gravity of Kissinger’s policies in Cambodia cannot be understated.

“To say the bombing was imprecise… it was inhumane. It’s not just the number of people, it’s the legacy.

“You cannot exaggerate what it did to the country.”

Related Topics

More on this story

Paris attack near Eiffel Tower leaves one dead and two injured

GAZA: Overpopulated, materially poor,80% dependent on foreign aid, where Islam defines their state of being and not being. Anything may happen now. Islam,a spin off from Christianity thanks to the Prophet Mohammed, has never been reformed or moved with the times. It will not and cannot negotiate with Israel because it wants their land. A two state solution is impossible. Muslims see themselves as much more than a religion and want the world, liberals accepting their claim to being a race. Jews could never keep pace with Palestinian population growth or share the inevitably dominating culture of Islam. Juxtaposed with pandemics, the cost of the Ukrainian war on Russia, its economic and social consequences for Europe’s lower class masses who pay for it all, this is not a great time to be alive. R J Cook
Scene showing emergency vehicles and lit-up Eiffel Tower in background
Image caption, A police operation is ongoing near the Bir-Hakeim metro station, not far from the Eiffel Tower

By Christy Cooney

BBC News

A man has died and two others have been injured in a knife and hammer attack on a street in central Paris.

The attack occurred on Quai de Grenelle, near the Eiffel Tower, shortly before 21:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Saturday.

A 26-year-old French national known to security services has been arrested and anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation.

Officials confirmed that the man killed was a German national.

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the victim, born in 1997, was with his wife when he was attacked and fatally stabbed.

He said the wife’s life was saved by the intervention of a taxi driver and that the suspect fled across a nearby bridge spanning the River Seine.

The man then attacked two more people, hitting one in the eye with a hammer, the minister said.

The suspect was then Tasered by police and arrested on suspicion of assassination – defined in French law as pre-meditated murder – and attempted assassination in relation to a terrorist enterprise.

The two people injured – a Frenchman aged around 60 and a foreign tourist – were treated by emergency services, with neither found to be in a life-threatening condition.

A police operation was initiated around the Bir-Hakeim metro station on Saturday night, and authorities urged people to avoid the area.

Mr Darmanin said the alleged attacker was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar”, Arabic for “God is greatest”, and told police he was upset because “so many Muslims are dying in Afghanistan and in Palestine”.

He said the suspect served four years in jail after being convicted for planning another attack in 2016 and was on the French security services watchlist.

The man was also known to have suffered psychiatric disorders, Mr Darmanin said.

On Saturday, a video was posted on social media in which the suspect criticised the French government and discussed what he described as the murder of innocent Muslims, AFP news agency reports.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, French President Emmanuel Macron sent his thoughts to all those affected by the “terrorist attack” and thanked the emergency services for their response.

“The national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office will now be responsible for shedding light on this affair so that justice can be done in the name of the French people.,” he said.

It comes less than two months after a teacher was killed in a knife attack at a high school in the northern city of Arras, prompting the French government to put the country on its highest level of national security alert.

Related Topics

More on this story

Israel-Gaza war: Residents of Khan Younis say Israeli strikes heaviest since start of war

Palestinians injured in Israeli airstrikes arrive at Nasser Medical Hospital in Khan Younis on Saturday
Image caption, Palestinians injured in Israeli airstrikes arrive at Nasser Medical Hospital in Khan Younis on Saturday

By Hugo Bachega in Jerusalem & Adam Durbin in London

BBC News

Israel has carried out intense air strikes on Khan Younis in southern Gaza, with residents describing it as the heaviest bombing of the war.

People in eastern areas of the city have been told by the Israeli military to evacuate further to the south.

Israel believes some Hamas leaders are in the city, where many civilians are sheltering after fleeing the north.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says at least 193 people have been killed in the latest wave of Israeli attacks.

On Friday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) resumed its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, launched in response to the 7 October attacks in Israel which killed around 1,200 people.

The Hamas-run health ministry says the number of people killed in Gaza has now exceeded 15,200 people.

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza resumed after a temporary ceasefire ended on Friday. The IDF said it had hit more than 400 Hamas “terror targets” on the first day of the renewed operation.

Rockets have also been regularly fired at Israel from Gaza since fighting resumed, including a barrage aimed at Tel Aviv and the surrounding area of central Israel on Saturday evening.

Following this attack, Israel’s ambulance service said it treated a 22-year-old man for “minor shrapnel injuries” to the head in Holon – a city just south of Tel Aviv.

At a briefing on Saturday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to continue with the Israeli military operation until “we achieve all the goals” in eliminating Hamas and securing the release of the hostages.

He acknowledged that “a tough war is ahead of us”.

Khan Younis and the city of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, were some of the places hit with heavy air strikes, with the next phase of the offensive likely to focus on southern Gaza.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought shelter in the area, after being told to flee the north of the territory, which was Israel’s main target in the early stages of the war.

The IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman posted maps on social media indicating which areas civilians should leave, directing people in areas east of Khan Younis to evacuate further south to shelters in Rafah, an indication that a ground offensive could be imminent.

Hospitals, operating with limited resources after weeks of fighting, were overwhelmed with casualties, and at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, some patients were treated on the floor.

“A night of horror,” Samira, a mother of four, told the Reuters news agency. “It was one of the worst nights we spent in Khan Younis in the past six weeks since we arrived here… We are so afraid they will enter Khan Younis.”

Unicef spokesman James Elder, who was in Khan Younis on Saturday, told the BBC that hospitals were already “saturated” with casualties before the strikes resumed.

“There is literally blood in the corridors, there are mothers yet again holding babies who look like they’ve been killed”, he said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent charity confirmed 100 lorries with aid were allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt on Saturday. On Friday, no humanitarian supplies were delivered to the territory.

Talks to reach a deal for another temporary ceasefire and to secure the release of the people kidnapped on 7 October who remain in Gaza collapsed on Saturday.

A Palestinian official familiar with the talks told the BBC that the negotiations were completely stalled, with no contacts or attempts to reach a fresh truce.

On Saturday, Israel announced it was pulling its negotiators from the Mossad intelligence service out of talks in Qatar, which has been acting as a mediator, following an “impasse in the negotiations”.

Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera on Saturday that “there are no negotiations now” and there would be no more prisoners exchanged with Israel until the war is over.

Map of Gaza Strip

US Vice President Kamala Harris, in a meeting with the president of Egypt, said “under no circumstances [would] the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza”.

She also reiterated the US position that Israel had the right to defend itself.

During their meeting in Dubai on the sidelines of the UN’s COP28 climate conference, she told Abdul Fattah al-Sisi that peace efforts could only succeed if “pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority”.

At Saturday’s briefing, Mr Netanyahu praised the release of 110 Israeli hostages – women and children – as well as some foreigners.

“Welcome back from hell,” Mr Netanyahu said.

The hostages were released in exchange for the freeing of 240 Palestinian prisoners – women and teenagers.

Most of the about 140 captives remaining in Gaza are men and military personnel.


More on Israel-Gaza war


Related Topics

French march against antisemitism shakes up far right and far left

  • Published
  • 12 November

Related Topics

March against antisemitism in Paris, 12 November
Image caption, The “great civil march” comes amid a steep rise in anti-Jewish incidents in France

By Hugh Schofield

BBC News, Paris

Something unprecedented is happening this weekend in Paris, brought about by the war between Israel and Hamas and its spill-over in Europe.

For the first time ever, a major demonstration being attended by representatives of the major political parties includes the far right – but not the far left.

On Sunday afternoon thousands of people heeded a call from the Speakers of the two houses of parliament to show their support for French “Republican” values and their rejection of antisemitism – this in the face of a steep rise in antisemitic actions since 7 October.

Among the first to announce their presence were Marine Le Pen, three-time presidential candidate for the National Rally (formerly the National Front), and the party’s young president, Jordan Bardella.

Almost simultaneously came a rejoinder from their counterpart on the far left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, irascible leader of France Unbowed (LFI). His party would not be attending, he tweeted, because the march was a “rendezvous for unconditional supporters of the massacre [of Gazans]”.

It is hard to overestimate the symbolic significance of this switch-over.

Marine Le Pen during a demonstration against anti-Semitism in Paris on 12 November 2023
Image caption, Marine Le Pen (left) and Jordan Bardella (right) were pictured attending the march in Paris on Sunday

For decades French politics erected a bulwark against the far right, whose views – not least on Jews – were deemed “anti-Republican”. The old National Front under Marine’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen was seen as beyond the pale, and it was shunned.

The far left meanwhile – the Communists, the Trotskyists and the new formations like Mr Mélenchon’s LFI – were certainly attacked for their views, but they were never excluded. They were part of the broad political family, in a way that the Le Pen franchise clearly wasn’t.

A few years ago, for a far-left party not to have been part of a march against antisemitism would have been unthinkable. For a far-right party to have been there instead would have been unconscionable.

Such is the shake-up in the political order, which of course long predates the Gaza war and is mirrored in varying ways across other European countries.

Today’s far right, rebranded “hard right” or “national right” has – in France at least – forgotten its obsession with Jews and its claims of a “Jewish lobby”. Its primary focus now is the three I’s – immigration, insecurity and Islamism – issues on which it finds common cause with many Jews.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, member of French far-left opposition party La France Insoumise, stands in front of a banned and protesters at a demonstration demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. in Paris, on 4 November 2023.
Image caption, Jean-Luc Mélenchon (2nd left) is boycotting Sunday’s march over Israel’s military campaign in Gaza

Meanwhile the far left in France, analysing Gaza through the anti-colonial lens, sees an oppressed people hammered by a superpower proxy and shouts “Solidarity!” Having lost the support of the old working class, many of whom vote National Rally, it has a new natural base among politicised immigrants.

Thus we arrive at the novel situation where a party whose founder once called the Holocaust a “detail of history” openly embraces the cause of French Jews; and at the other end of the spectrum, a party built on ideas of human rights and equality stands accused of antisemitism for failing to call Hamas “terrorist”.

Maybe this should all be nuanced. After all, many people still think that at heart the far right, by virtue of its French-first ethos, cannot help but be anti-Jewish. They note that Jordan Bardella this week refused to explicitly call Jean-Marie Le Pen antisemitic – a faux-pas to which enemies of the National Rally (RN) have reacted with glee.

And on the far left there are signs of division around Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose prickly personality and autocratic methods are driving some colleagues to exasperation. This week one senior lieutenant, Raquel Garrido, was given a four-month suspension as party spokeswoman for challenging the leader’s line – not least on Hamas.

But the fundamental point remains: the RN under Marine Le Pen is manoeuvring itself very successfully into the mainstream, while Mr Mélenchon’s LFI is manoeuvring itself out.

Students from the Union of French Jewish students,UEJF, gather to show their support for the state of Israel on 9 October 2023 in Paris, France
Image caption, France has seen several pro-Israel marches since the 7 October attack by Hamas that killed about 1,200 people in southern Israel

Opinion polls bear it out: according to IFOP last week, Marine Le Pen would trounce the opposition in the first round of a presidential election today, with up to 33% of the vote. Mr Mélenchon, at 22% in the 2022 election, is down to 14%.

This week one of the historic figures in the fight against antisemitism in France gave his views on these ironies of history and politics.

Serge Klarsfeld and his wife Beate helped bring Nazi war criminals to justice, and documented the deportations and deaths of 80,000 Jews from France exterminated in the Holocaust.

Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, Mr Klarsfeld, now 88, said: “For me the DNA of the far right is antisemitism. So when I see a big party of the far right abandon antisemitism and negationism and move towards our Republican values, naturally I rejoice.”

“The far left for its part has always had its own antisemitic tradition. So just as I am relieved to see the RN… take a stand for Jews, so I am sad to see the far left abandon its actions to combat antisemitism.”

Related Topics

More on this story

Paris attack near Eiffel Tower leaves one dead and two injured

Scene showing emergency vehicles and lit-up Eiffel Tower in background
Image caption, A police operation is ongoing near the Bir-Hakeim metro station, not far from the Eiffel Tower

A man has died and two others have been injured in an attack on a street in central Paris.

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said an attacker had targeted tourists around the Quai de Grenelle, which is close to the Eiffel Tower.

He added that the assailant had been arrested and the injured were being treated by emergency services.

Citing a police source, AFP news agency said the man who died – identified as a German national – was stabbed.

Mr Darmanin said the alleged attacker had shouted “Allahu Akbar”, Arabic for “God is greatest”, and told police he was upset about the situation in Gaza.

He said the suspect was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for planning another attack and was on the French security services watchlist.

The man was also known to have suffered psychiatric disorders, Mr Darmanin said.

French newspaper Le Monde reports that the suspect was born in 1997.

A police operation is ongoing around the Bir-Hakeim metro station, and authorities have urged people to avoid the area.

Related Topics

December 1st 2023

A Black British Man proudly leads a march with the EDL against the Islamification of Britain. Now Islam has status and protection as a minority racial group. We have had gender fluid. Now we have racial fluid ! The white upper middle class elite can’t stop redefining and creating new laws – and their fight to control language for the purpose of social control in fake British Democracy..

Cyra Akila Choudhury*
IDENTITIES……………… ……………………………………………………6
The Myth of Race.……………………………………………………………..6
Fluid Identities and Multiple Subordinations… …………………… .10
Muslim/Islamicized Identities as Cosynthetic Identities… ………. 15
RACE…………………………………………… …………………… 18
Thread 1: Connecting Black Islam from Slavery to Anti-
Islam Immigration Laws and the Civil Rights
Movement…………………… ……………………………………… 18
Black Islam/Islam as Blackness and the Construction
of Racial Difference…. ……………………………………. 20
Muslim Immigration in the early to mid-1900s:
Between the Racial Binary in the Courts…………………. .24
Civil Rights and the Re-emergence of Islam… …………. .28
Thread 2: Mid-Century American Orientalism and
Alienating Islam……………………………………………………. …..32
American Orientalism and Social Constructions of
Muslims… ……………………………………………………. .33
The West and the Rest: An Alien Despotic Islam
as Judeo-Christian Democracy’s Other… ………………… .35
Thread 3: Combatting Terrorism with Racism: Islam-as-
Race and the Visible
From the Oklahoma City Bombing to the Present:
Protecting the Homeland… …………………………………… .40
Defending Against Creeping Sharia and
Civilizational Jihad… ……………………………………… .44
Muslim Assimilation When Islam is the Problem… ….. .48
Interlude: Braiding the Strands from Islam-as-Race
to Islamophobia-as
Racism……………… …………… ……………………………50
* Professor of Law, Florida International University (“FIU”) College of Law. For comments on earlier
drafts, my thanks to Saru Matambanadzo and the faculty of Tulane Law School, Sujith Xavier and the
University of Windsor Faculty of Law, the FIU College of Law for continued research support, and my
research assistant Sarika Laljie for her help over two years. Finally, many thanks to Ben Hamlin, who
listened to various iterations of this research and provided valuable insights.
Choudhury: Racecraft and Identity in the Emergence of Islam as a Race
Published by University of Cincinnati College of Law Scholarship and Publications, 20222 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW [VOL. 91
MATERIAL DISCRIMINATION….. …………………………………………. 52
Theoretical Methods in Uncovering Racecraft:
Critical Discourse Theory and “Reading Back” in
Deconstructing Racist
Commonsense…………………………… ………………… ……53
The Discursive Tropes of Commonsense Racism……… .53
The Hermeneutic of Reading Back… ……………………… .56
The Shared Racecraft of the Anti-Sharia Law and the Anti-
CRT Panics……… …………………………………………58
Reading the Tropes Back: The Anti-Sharia Law
Panic… ………………………………………………………… .58
The Anti-CRT Panic……………………………………………. .63
Using Racial Panics to Maintain Hierarchy…………… ….66
Material Racecraft in Anti-Black and Islamophobic Property
Residential Housing Violence and Resistance
Against Blacks and Muslims… ……………………………… .70
Resistance to Public Housing and Mosques
and the Visible Presence of Racial Groups… ……………. .74
CONCLUSION…………………… …… ………………………………….78
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 91, Iss. 1 [2022], Art. 1
https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/uclr/vol91/iss1/12022] RACECRAFT AND IDENTITY 3
Racecraft is . . . the process by which racism becomes race . . . . You don’t
start with the perception of people being different and then out of that
grows racism. You start with racism; you start with the double standard,
which is a practice and also an ideology, and out of that race emerges. You
learn to recognize people as belonging to a race because you have been in
the rituals of racism with them.1
Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.2
Can a religion, over time and through its social and legal
resignification, come to be a race? This article answers in the affirmative;
in the context of North America and Europe where racial hierarchies have
been most pronounced, practitioners of the religion of Islam have come
to be perceived as belonging to a race called “Muslim.” While there is a
large literature on the racialization of Muslims and Islamophobia,
scholars have nevertheless been reluctant to declare Islam or Muslims as
a race. This article now makes that claim. In the last twenty years, Islam
has come to function as a race socially and in the law. It began with the
increasingly specific targeting of Muslims/Islamicized people, through
which Islamophobia has developed as a distinct form of racism. Through
reiterative subjection of the group whose shared characteristic is their
connection to Islam, the “Muslim” coalesced into a racial identity. And
finally, through the racecraft of Islamophobia and the dialectical
resistance to it by Muslims/Islamicized people, Islam emerged as a race.3
To justify this original claim, this article starts with the theoretical
literature on race and racial identity in Part I: The Myth of Race and
Reality of Fluid Racial Identities. Taking seriously critical race theorists’
arguments that race is constructed, it follows that new races should
1. The Graduate Center, CUNY, Racecraft: Barbara Fields & Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation,
YOUTUBE, at 39:50 (Mar. 14, 2013), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFPwkOwaweo.
2. RUDYARD KIPLING, THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN (1899) (written in response to the imperial
occupation of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War).
3. In this paper, I theorize “Islam-as-race” and not an Islamic race, which, in my mind, implies
an actual belief in and/or practice of Islam as a religion. Islam-as-race is a construction which posits that
Islam has multiple meanings that range from the religious to the cultural and now to the racial.
Choudhury: Racecraft and Identity in the Emergence of Islam as a Race
Published by University of Cincinnati College of Law Scholarship and Publications, 20224 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW [VOL. 91
emerge, while old races change or fade. For decades, Critical Race Theory
(“CRT”) and Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory (“LatCrit”) scholars
have debated the construction of race and the operations of racism in the
United States. This article uses this rich literature as well as the work of
historians Cedric Robinson and Barbara J. Fields and sociologist Karen
E. Fields to argue that race is a specter or a myth and that we should take
its unreality much more seriously than we do. In other words, although
racism exists, race itself is not real, it is not a fact, and it is not immutable.
Furthermore, this article argues, along with Robinson, that racism
produces not only the specter of race but fluid identities as it addresses
itself to specific and identifiable groups of people. If we accept these
theories regarding racism, race, and racial identities, then Muslim as a
racial category and Islam-as-race become far more intelligible.
Having made the theoretical claim that new races and new fluid racial
identities can and have emerged over time, these racial formations have a
historical substratum of beliefs and racial rituals that give rise to race. In
Part II: A Genealogy of Islam-as-Race, this article traces a genealogy of
Islam-as-race consisting of three constituent strands: (1) the historical
construction of Islam as a Black/brown religion, (2) an American
Orientalism that alienates Islam from the West, and (3) the profiling of
Muslims and Islamicized people after the Oklahoma City bombings and
9/11 and then the resignification of Islam into a terrorist ideology by its
antagonists. These three strands weave together to help produce Islam-as-
race; not just a religious identity but a non-white, racial one that renders
anyone Islamicized into a racial Other.
Racism relies on racecraft, a set of tools that racism deploys to
subordinate groups.4 In the United States, those tools have been
developed and perfected against Black Americans and Native Americans
to be later tailored for use against new groups like Muslims. Then,
through an iterative process of increasingly particularized racism, the
subject population’s identity becomes more defined and ultimately may
result in the emergence of a race. From the genealogy of Islam-as-race in
Part I, this article turns to the practices and techniques of racism in Part
III: The Racecraft of Anti-Blackness and Islamophobia in which it
demonstrates racism’s discursive techniques in producing whiteness’s
Other and the material effects of this production. In the first section of
Part III, this article focuses on deconstructing racism’s discursive
strategies that it deploys against racial groups, tailoring them to suit its
4. I use racism, rather than racists as actors, because it is well-understood that racism as part of
the structure of politics and law may continue to have effects and maintain the racial status quo even with
seemingly neutral or sympathetic human actors. See, e.g., EDWARD BONILLA-SILVA, RACISM
AMERICA (2004).
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 91, Iss. 1 [2022], Art. 1
https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/uclr/vol91/iss1/12022] RACECRAFT AND IDENTITY 5
needs. Based on Critical Discourse Studies, it describes eight discursive
strategies that are used to produce common racist tropes. It then uses
Professor I. Bennett Capers’ work Reading Back, Reading Black to “read”
these distilled and abstracted tropes back into specific texts: the
transcripts of a hearing for a motion to enjoin the opening of a mosque
during the anti-sharia law panic5 and an anti-CRT opinion published by
the panic’s chief architect, Christopher Rufo. The point is to show that
racecraft and the techniques of racism are the same when used against
Muslims in the anti-sharia panic as they are when used against Blacks and
in the anti-CRT panics. Racists learn how to retool their strategies from
one group to the next.6 Islamicization or the racialization of Muslims (and
those assumed to be Muslims or the Islamicized) overlaps with the
subordination of other groups. In sum, they are part of the racial
hierarchy: the Islamicized are subject to the same racist strategies as other
Justificatory discourses and racist logics form the armature of the
material practices of racism, among which social violence and spatial
discrimination are examples of racecraft in reinscribing racial difference.7
In the second section of Part III, the article provides examples of the
overlapping experiences of racial exclusion and violence against Blacks
5. The anti-sharia law panic, which periodically flares up, posits that Muslims are seeking to
enshrine Islamic law into the U.S. legal system and are attempting to overthrow and dominate the country
to make it an Islamic state.
6. While there have been many definitions of Islamophobia, I agree with Stephen Sheehi that
Islamophobia (like all other racisms) is an ideology, a body of everyday knowledge and beliefs, that
justifies the regulation of Muslims like it does other races. Racism in the form of Islamophobia and Anti-
Blackness includes not just individual discrimination but structural expropriation and exploitation. See
differ from Professor Beydoun, the chief proponent of his popular theory in the legal literature that
Islamophobia is a dialectic. This misunderstands how a dialectic works, as I note in the “Introduction” to
Islamophobia and the Law. Islamophobia is not produced dialectically because there is no tension or
aporia between two forces that are then synthesized to result in it per the philosophical concept. The more
accurate description might be that it is the result of a negative dialectic: racism perpetrated by the dominant
group and the resistance from the members of the group (Muslims and Islamicized) resulting in the
creation of the race. But it is not Islamophobia or the racism that results—that is one half of the dialectic.
It cannot be both the cause and the effect. Further, in this paper, I suggest that a definition of Islamophobia
that restricts it to a set of specific negative beliefs can miss benevolent Islamophobia like that of the U.S.
Institute of Peace as well as the well-meaning patriarchal forms that seek to protect Muslim women. The
ideology is far more complex than a simple hatred or belief in the violent nature of Islam or Muslims.
Moreover, the framework provided does not provide a convincing analytical framework but more of a
description of which people and institutions engage in Islamophobia (private, structural, dialectical—the
last being most puzzling). This definition may be a starting point but is partial at best and largely
inadequate. C.f. Khaled A. Beydoun, Islamophobia: Toward a Legal Definition and Framework, 116
COLUM. L. REV. 208 (2016), https://columbialawreview.org/content/islamophobia-toward-a-legal-
definition-and-framework. The framework for understanding Islamophobia both structurally and
ideologically is in the context of racism in general and not as distinct formation. Importantly, as the
Fieldses and Robinson note, racism cannot be understood without accounting for the rise of capitalism.
7. See infra notes 26 and accompanying text.
Choudhury: Racecraft and Identity in the Emergence of Islam as a Race
Published by University of Cincinnati College of Law Scholarship and Publications, 20226 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW [VOL. 91
and Muslims in the context of property. 8 The purpose of juxtaposing
Muslims/Islamicized people and Black Americans is not to equate their
experiences but to demonstrate how the maintenance of the racial
hierarchy is effectuated using common, well-established methods.
Islamophobia and its institutional havens, its modes of regulation, and its
techniques of subordination do not operate in isolation from other
racisms; therefore, they must be undone at the same time as other racisms,
sharing the same goal: to dismantle the racial hierarchy entirely.
To fully understand Islam-as-race, we must first return to the
foundational arguments of critical race theory. One of those precepts is
that race is not a fact but is constructed and, therefore, mutable. If we
accept that race is unfixed and racial identities are fluid, then we must
accept that new races may come into being and new racial identities can
form in response to racism. These racial formations never arise fully
formed like Athena from Zeus’s forehead; rather, they evolve over time.
Even as scholars of race refuse any suggestion that race is a biological
fact, many continue to take race as such a fact without much interrogation.
Far more important than race itself is racism (an ideology that justifies the
subordination of people based on ancestry) and racists (those who carry
out racism).9
1. The Myth of Race
Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields argue in Racecraft: The Soul of
Inequality in American Life that racism produces the myth of race.10
Racism is real, but race is not.11 Race is an idea, not a material fact.
However, increasingly, even those who challenge racism have come to
treat race as a reality whose borders are not only fixed and unchanging
but also require policing. Race seems real. But this is an effect of
racecraft. Take, for instance, their example of two statements of
8. Unfortunately, public housing advocates have not been able to avail themselves of a law as
strong as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to succeed in having public housing
built in majority-white suburbs. See generally, DAVID M.P. FREUND, COLORED PROPERTY: STATE
AMERICAN LIFE 2–7, 16–18 (2012).
11. The Graduate Center, CUNY, supra note 1, at 16:00.
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 91, Iss. 1 [2022], Art. 1
https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/uclr/vol91/iss1/12022] RACECRAFT AND IDENTITY 7
1. The crops failed because of witchcraft.
2. Blacks were segregated in the South because of their race.12
In both these sentences, race and witchcraft cause something to
happen—segregation and crop failure. However, neither can cause the
effect attributed to it. In order to convince people of the causation, both
race and witchcraft must be made to seem real rather than as socially
constructed and contingent. According to the Fieldses, racecraft is the set
of tools and techniques by which racism makes race appear as a fact.
Blacks were segregated in the South because of racism.13 Race cannot and
does not appear a priori to racism, but repeatedly, we accept statements
of causation as though race comes first, and that the double standards and
differential treatment are based on race rather than being an effect of a
racist ideology. As the Fieldses argue, race is no more real than
Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism traces the development of race from
racial capitalism. It provides a careful historiography of the evolution of
different groups of Africans — Fulani, Fon, Wolof, Igbo, Yoruba, and
others — into Negroes because of the economic imperatives of Europe as
they colonized and enslaved Black and Brown peoples. Robinson argues
that Europeans already had “race” handy as a concept that was applied to
Slavs, Jews, the Irish, the Mongols, and later Arabs, Indians, and
Africans. He then argues that Black radical tradition was an African
response to European domination. Quoting Walter Rodney, who noted
this de-Africanizing and the attempted dehumanizing that had to take
place to produce the “slave,” “[H]e faced his new situation as an African,
a worker and a man. At this level of perception, it is quite irrelevant to
enquire from which tribe or region a particular African originated.”15
Robinson goes on to say: “As we shall see, in slave society such a
signification of African culture was accessible for practical and
ideological reasons only in a most grotesque form, that is, racism. Racist
ideologues observed that all Blacks were identical and supplied the
12. Id. at 40:40.
13. Id. at 39:50.
Racecraft is . . . the process by which racism becomes race . . . . You don’t start with the perception
of the people being different and then out of that grows racism. You start with racism; you start
with the double standard, which is the practice and also an ideology, and out of that race emerges.
You learn to recognize people as belonging to a race because you have been in the rituals of racism
with them.
14. See Appendix A, Figure 1: The Production of Racial Identity and Race.
TRADITION 73 (2000).
Choudhury: Racecraft and Identity in the Emergence of Islam as a Race
Published by University of Cincinnati College of Law Scholarship and Publications, 20228 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW [VOL. 91
content of that identity.”16 It is important to underscore here that it is
racism that produces different races, and that racism is not only anti-
Blackness which develops later; racism is a preexisting feature of
European history in connection to other groups.17 The form that it took
against Africans during the slave trade and in the colonies during the rise
of capitalism is anti-Blackness as we understand it today. Part of the
construction of race was to homogenize Africans and strip them entirely
of their history and particularity.18
Robinson’s work is a magisterial exploration of race, its evolution from
pre-capitalist to capitalist eras, and the Black radical tradition. As noted
above, he theorizes that racism applied specifically to Africans produced
anti-Black racism to extract labor much as it produced anti-Indian racism
in the so-called “jewel in the crown” from which it extracted several
trillion dollars.19 The point is that races reflect the ideological needs of
the racist. As such, it stands to reason that new races will coalesce and
emerge as part of a complex interaction between racism and a subject
population based on a history of being set apart from whiteness. This is
what has happened with Islam. The practice of racism, particularized
against Muslims as Islamophobia, has given rise to the identity of
Muslims as a racial group and Islam as a race. Furthermore, one of the
reasons scholars have preferred to refer to Muslims as racialized rather
than as members of a race is because the group is heterogenous; many in
it already have other ethnic characteristics. Yet surely “Muslim” can be a
racial identity because identities based on race are always an amalgam
and assemblage of constituent parts for any group.
One of the most important contributions of Critical Race Theory is the
critique of essentialism in the forms of the race “science” that sought
neutral, fixed, and natural explanations for socially fabricated differences,
and then later, the tendency to essentialize some shared attributes like sex
or gender.20 Anti-essentialism was developed as a counter to both these
arguing they problematically ignored or simply disavowed the effects of
race and class difference.21 The social construction thesis repudiated both
16. Id. (emphasis added).
17. Id.
18. Id. at 74–75
19. How Much Money Did Britain Take Away from India? About $45 Trillion in 173 Years, Says
Top Economist, BUSINESSTODAY.IN (Nov. 19, 2018), https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/economy-
2018-11-19. In addition, over the period of colonization, some have estimated that the deprivation of
resources led to 1.8 billion deaths, which dwarves the numbers killed in the slave trade or in wars against
indigenous peoples. See also Maddie Beitler, Colonial India: A Legacy of Neglect, ARCGIS STORYMAPS
(Sept. 26, 2020), https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/1bcfcb6b88c846f99e05ab7831669757/print.
20. Angela P. Harris, Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory, 42 STAN L. REV. 581, 588
21. Darren L. Hutchinson has argued that even anti-essentialists have not been internally consistent

3. Thread 3: Combatting Terrorism with Racism:
Islam-as-Race and the Visible Muslim
The final thread of this genealogy brings us to the present. Established
practices of racism—forged in colonialism and slavery—act against a
new subject population, and the developing identity of the Islamicized
begins to cohere and indicate the formation of a race. In this third thread
of the genealogy, the continuity that Islam is a non-white religion is
underscored by tightening the nexus between it and the identities of its
practitioners from Black to Arab and now to an amalgam of Others
including people who seem white but are raced as non-white increasingly
homogenized on the basis of Islam. The discussion below shows how
Islam as a Black and Brown religion, one that is categorically opposed to
Western values, continues its journey into becoming a terrorist ideology
and identity. The intersectional cosynthetic identity and an emergent
Islam-as-race co-produce each other. Here we see how the practices of
racism concentrate on people with a shared link to Islam to create a racial
group. Once Islam itself has become the problem, Muslims cannot
assimilate. They become a permanent subordinated group like other races
while Islamicization sweeps in those even those Muslims who do not, and
do not have to, practice the religion of Islam.
i. From the Oklahoma City Bombing to the Present:
Protecting the Homeland
In the 1980s, the Unites States government began to increasingly worry
about terrorism in the wake of the Iranian revolution and the hostage
crisis. As noted above, this fear resulted in every administration from
Nixon onwards establishing surveillance and registration programs
directed primarily at Iranians and Arabs but also Muslims from other parts
of the world.179 The first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 exposed
that we had, in fact, given asylum to terrorists.180 But despite being a small
fraction of the people committing terrorism in America,181 through
popular depictions and political fearmongering, Arabs became the
stereotypical terrorists: the Hollywood stereotype of the hook-nosed,
unshaven, keffiyeh wearing, Yasir Arafat look-alike.182
179. See supra note 176 and accompanying text.
180. World Trade Center Bombing 1993, History, FBI, available at
181. See also Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism, PEW
RSCH. CTR. (Aug. 30, 2011), https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2011/08/30/section-1-a-demographic-
182. Holly M. Jackson, Preprint, The New York Times Distorts the Palestinian Struggle: A Case
Study of Anti-Palestinian Bias in American News Coverage of the First and Second Palestinian Intifadas
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 91, Iss. 1 [2022], Art. 1
https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/uclr/vol91/iss1/12022] RACECRAFT AND IDENTITY 41
In fact, that association was so strong that witnesses claimed to have
seen “Middle Eastern looking” men fleeing from the site of the 1995
Oklahoma City bombing.183 Even after it was discovered to be the act of
homegrown, white male terrorists, violence was directed at Arab
communities. The Clinton administration’s legal reaction was further
stigmatizing: it passed immigration reforms as though the attack had, in
fact, come from immigrants. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant
Responsibility Act resulted in the massive dragnet operation and roundup
of Latino and Middle Eastern men who then faced immigration detention
and deportation.184 To underscore the absurdity: a terrorist attack that
killed over 160 people perpetrated by an American white man resulted in
the targeting and deportation of immigrant Latino and Muslim men
through immigration law. Muslim immigrants, who had worked to quietly
(May 19, 2021), https://web.mit.edu/hjackson/www/The_NYT_Distorts_the_Palestinian_Struggle.pdf.
183. Larry B. Stammer & Carla Hall, Terror in Oklahoma City: American Muslims Feel Sting of
Accusations in Bombing’s Wake: Reaction: Talk of Middle East Link Led to Epithets Against Ethnic
Community. The Arrest of a Midwesterner Has Spurred a Collective Sigh of Relief., L.A. TIMES (Apr. 22,
1995), https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1995-04-22-mn-57460-story.html; Laurie Goodstein &
Marylou Tousignant, Muslims’ Burden of Blame Lifts, WASH. POST (Apr. 22, 1995),
lifts/29d45b49-c106-46d5-bd82-94eed4adc538; Melinda Henneberger, Terror Attacks in Oklahoma: Bias
Attacks: Muslims Continue to Feel Apprehensive, N.Y. TIMES § B at 10 (Apr. 24, 1995),
184. See US: 20 Years of Immigrant Abuses: Under 1996 Laws, Arbitrary Detention, Fast-
Deportation, Family Separation, HUM. RTS. WATCH (Apr. 25, 2016), https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/
President Bill Clinton signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, known
as AEDPA, on April 24, 1996. The legislation, passed in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City
bombing, greatly expanded the grounds for detaining and deporting immigrants, including long-
term legal residents. It was the first US law to authorize certain now-widely-used fast-track
deportation procedures.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), signed in September
1996, made further sweeping changes to immigration laws. It eliminated key defenses against
deportation and subjected many more immigrants, including legal permanent residents, to
detention and deportation. IIRIRA defined a greatly expanded range of criminal convictions –
including relatively minor, nonviolent ones – for which legal permanent residents could be
automatically deported. IIRIRA also made it much more difficult for people fleeing persecution
to apply for asylum.
A large scholarly literature about immigration and terrorism produced in the aftermath of the September
11 attacks recounts this earlier history. See generally Leti Volpp, The Citizen and the Terrorist, 49 UCLA
L. REV. 1586 (2002); Susan Akram & Kevin Johnson, Race, Civil Rights, and Immigration Law After
September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims, 58 N.Y.U. ANN. SURV. AM. L. 295 (2002);
Samuel R. Gross & Debra Livingston, Racial Profiling Under Attack, 102 COLUM. L. REV. 1413, 1430
(2002) (emphasis added).
Choudhury: Racecraft and Identity in the Emergence of Islam as a Race
Published by University of Cincinnati College of Law Scholarship and Publications, 202242 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW [VOL. 91
assimilate throughout the twentieth century, found that the Oklahoma
City bombing was a harbinger of things to come. Oklahoma demonstrated
the vulnerability of Latino and Muslim communities based on their
immigrant identity. Regardless of how law abiding they were, their
alienness became a basis for their repression.185
In the period after the Oklahoma City Bombing until 2010, Muslims
were targeted for profiling on the assumption that they were a visibly alien
presence in society. South Asian, Arab, and those Islamicized because of
their underlying racial features or dress were surveilled, detained,
deported, and subject to both state and vigilante violence.186 A decade
after 9/11, lawmakers and activists turned their attention to Islam itself.
Islam was redefined to mean a political ideology incompatible with the
Constitution, a threat to the homeland that justified increased surveillance
and racial profiling of anyone who claimed it as their religion.187 While
in the early 2000s it was assumed that one could tell Muslims apart, as the
War on Terror progressed, the worry was that stealth jihad and indeed
stealth Muslims like the main characters in Homeland or Sleeper Cell—
white or Black Muslims who pass as “regular” Americans would
challenge the professed values of our nation.188 Once again, Islam was
depicted as alien and incompatible with American values and was used to
Islamicize people and subject them to both social and legal violence.
The bombings of 9/11 were a watershed moment. While it may not
have resulted in a complete rupture from the time before, this event was
the single most important disruption of the history of Muslims in the
United States. The attack brought down the full force of state repression
and its police powers against Muslims in the name of national security,
now rendered “homeland security.” The same racial strategies used
against the Black and Latinx communities during the Civil Rights
movement in the 1960s and 1970s and the War on Drugs were used
against Muslims in the new War on Terror.189 The methods of the
Counterintelligence Program (more commonly known as
COINTELPRO), the surveillance of civil rights activists, the use of
185. See Akram & Johnson, supra note 184.
186. Amna Akbar, National Security’s Broken Windows, 62 UCLA L. REV. 834 (2015); Muneer I.
Ahmad, A Rage Shared By Law: Post-September 11 Racial Violence as Crimes of Passion, 92 CAL. L.
REV. 1259 (2004).
187. See Ahmad supra note 191.
188. Evelyn Alsultany, Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Representational Strategies for
a “Postrace” Era, 65 AM. Q. 161–69 (2013). See also Lorraine Ali, Exploiting Fear of Muslims? The
Far Right Has Nothing on Liberal Hollywood, BALT. SUN (Jan. 7, 2017),
189. See Muneer I. Ahmad, Homeland Insecurities: Racial Profiling the Day After 9/11, 20 SOC.
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 91, Iss. 1 [2022], Art. 1
https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/uclr/vol91/iss1/12022] RACECRAFT AND IDENTITY 43
informants and plants, the surveillance of immigrant and Black inner-city
mosques, the use of no-fly lists, and the procedure of racial profiling were
directed at Islamic organizations and groups.190 At the time, scholars
warned about the limitations of these strategies:
September 11 suicide hijackers were foreign, and some may be especially
fearful because they were Arabs. This fear may cause us to exaggerate the
danger of future attacks in general, and of attacks by Middle Eastern
terrorists in particular. As a result, we may overestimate the effect of
racially specific security measures. And unfortunately, we are more willing
to accept aggressive measures when they target small and politically
disempowered groups, specifically racial and ethnic minorities, and foreign
Muslims and those who were Islamicized were then arrested and
detained en masse and sometimes held without charge for months,
tortured, and then deported.192 As noted above, one of the correlations
from the War on Terror period is the increased surveillance and pursuit of
immigrants and communities of color.193 The last twenty years have seen
a massive increase in deportations under both Republican and Democratic
administrations, along with surveillance, immigration raids, and racial
profiling.194 The Patriot Act, enacted hastily within forty-five days of the
9/11 attacks, was directed at keeping the United States secure by
expanding law enforcement authority against those inside or at the
borders.195 The legislation also mandated the sharing of data across state
and federal law enforcement agencies, sparking a boom in surveillance
tech.196 Furthermore, United States counterterrorism and counter-
insurgency strategies used abroad in the Global War on Terror have been
reimported back into the homeland to be deployed against domestic
191. See Gross & Livingston, supra note 184, at 1430.
DEPORTATION IN AMERICA AFTER 9/11 (2011); Shirin Sinnar, The Untold Story of Iqbal, in
ISLAMOPHOBIA AND THE LAW (Choudhury & Beydoun, eds., 2020).
193. KUNDNANI, supra note 190.
194. Alex Nowrasteh, Deportation Rates in Historical Perspective, CATO LIBERTY (Sept. 16,
2019), https://www.cato.org/blog/deportation-rates-historical-perspective; John Gramlich, How Border
Apprehensions, ICE Arrests and Deportations Have Changed Under Trump, PEW RSCH. CTR. (Mar. 2,
2020), https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/03/02/how-border-apprehensions-ice-arrests-and-
deportations-have-changed-under-trump. It is of interest that, beginning with the Clinton administration,
Democratic presidents have deported more people than their Republican counterparts.
195. Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and
Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107- 56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001); 18
U.S.C.A. § 1 (2008); Surveillance Under the Patriot Act, ACLU,

University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 91, Iss. 1 [2022], Art. 1

Read More https://scholarship.law.uc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1454&context=uclr

November 30th 2023

UAE’s Cop28 president will keep role as head of national oil company

Campaigners warn ‘breathtaking conflict of interest’ could jeopardise climate negotiating process

Fiona Harvey Environment editorFri 13 Jan 2023 08.47 GMTLast modified on Fri 13 Jan 2023 11.23 GMT

Sultan Al Jaber, the government minister for United Arab Emirates who will preside over this year’s crucial UN climate talks, will retain his roles as head of the country’s oil company and sustainable energy businesses, UAE has confirmed.

Campaigners have been angered by the decision, revealed by the Guardian on Wednesday and confirmed on Thursday by the UAE government, which they see as a clear conflict of interest, with some likening it to putting a tobacco company head in charge of an anti-smoking treaty, and warning it could jeopardise the negotiating process and hasten climate breakdown.

UAE will host this year’s Cop28 UN climate summit in Dubai. The fortnight-long talks, starting on 30 November, are viewed as vital to try to put the world on track to limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, a target that scientists have warned is in imminent danger of being lost forever.

Al Jaber is minister for industry and advanced technology, but is also chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which is one of the world’s biggest oil producers, and whose plans for new drilling will amount to the second largest expansion of oil and gas production planned globally.

A Cop28 spokesperson for UAE said: “Dr Sultan [Al Jaber] has a long career serving as a diplomat, minister, and business leader across the energy and renewables industry, including as the founding CEO of Masdar, a global renewable energy leader, and ADNOC. To deliver a just energy transition, a deep understanding of energy systems is essential. His experience uniquely positions him to be able to convene both the public and private sector to bring about pragmatic solutions to achieve the goals and aspirations of the Paris climate agreement.”

The spokesperson said: “Dr Al Jaber has helped accelerate adoption of renewables as founding CEO and current chairman of Masdar, the world’s second largest renewable energy company with clean energy investments in over 40 countries, operating three of the world’s largest and lowest-cost solar plants. As ADNOC CEO, he has spearheaded investments of $15bn over five years in decarbonisation strategy and new low-carbon solutions.”

Two other top officials have been appointed. Shamma Al Mazrui, will act as youth climate champion, and Razan Al Mubarak as UN climate change high-level champion, leading efforts to bring businesses to the summit with stringent commitments to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, who has worked closely with the UAE government in the past, welcomed the appointments.

He said: “Domestically and internationally, the UAE has shown leadership in climate investment and innovation. It is already one of the largest investors in renewables at home and abroad and is an innovator in technologies crucial to the energy transition, such as carbon capture and low-carbon hydrogen.”

He added: “Al Jaber brings deep diplomatic and commercial experience through his work as the UAE’s special envoy on climate change and as chairman of Masdar. I am confident that Dr Sultan has both the standing and the capability to offer groundbreaking leadership for Cop28.”

The Cop president plays a vital role in the annual climate talks, acting as an “honest broker” among bickering governments, and with a large degree of latitude in determining the direction of the talks and what issues are given priority and negotiating time.

But campaigners have been dismayed that the talks will be overseen by an oil executive.

Romain Ioualalen, global policy manager at the campaigning group Oil Change International, said:“This is a truly breathtaking conflict of interest and is tantamount to putting the head of a tobacco company in charge of negotiating an anti-smoking treaty.”

“ADNOC’s investment decisions in the next few years will make it the second largest expander of oil and gas production globally, despite clear warnings from the International Energy Agency and the UN that any new oil and gas production is incompatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C. ADNOC will surely tout its investments in renewable energy but the reality is that the climate talks will be run by the CEO of a company betting on climate failure. These are the worst possible credentials for an upcoming Cop president.”

Zeina Khalil Hajj, the head of global campaigning at the pressure group 350.org, said the decision risked “jeopardising the entire UN climate progress. We are extremely concerned that it will open the floodgates for greenwashing and oil and gas deals to keep exploiting fossil fuels.”

Chiara Liguori, a climate adviser at Amnesty International, urged the government to rethink. “The fact that the UAE is a major oil producer does not bode well for the outcome of Cop28, and the appointment of the head of the national oil company will heighten concerns that the UAE will use its presidency of the climate conference to foster fossil fuel interests,” she said.

“There is still time to reverse course. Sultan Al Jaber should resign from his role with the state oil company, and the UAE’s Cop28 leadership team should include phasing out fossil fuels among its priorities for the conference.”

November 28th 2023

Deadly storm cuts power to nearly 2 million people in Russia, Ukraine

Almost two million people in Russia and occupied Ukraine were left without power on Monday, after hurricane force winds and heavy rains cut electricity lines and caused widespread flooding.

Wind speeds of over 140 kilometres per hour were recorded in some places in the Black Sea region.
Wind speeds of over 140 kilometres per hour (about 90 mph) were recorded in some places © Stringer, AFP



Huge waves crashed over beachside areas of Russia‘s Black Sea coast, video from social media showed, as wind speeds reached over 140 kilometres (about 90 miles) per hour in some places.

At least four people were killed during the storm, local media said.

Two bodies were found in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region, while a sailor was killed in the Kerch Strait between Crimea and Russia, state media reported.

Оne man on the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula’s southern coast was also killed, according to Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the region’s Russian-installed governor Sergei Aksyonov.

“The man went out to look at the waves and, unfortunately, tragically died,” he said.

Russia’s energy ministry said “about 1.9 million people” were affected by power cuts in the southern Russian regions of Dagestan, Krasnodar and Rostov, as well as the occupied Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Crimea.

Residents were adivsed to stay indoors and businesses ordered to shut due to the storm
Residents were adivsed to stay indoors and businesses ordered to shut due to the storm © Mikhail Mordasov / AFP

In Crimea, one of the worst affected regions, Aksyonov said rescue workers hoped to restore electricity over the next two days.

Crimean lawmaker Vladimir Konstantinov said on state television that the peninsula had experienced an “armageddon”-like scenario.

“Old-timers can’t remember this kind of wind and waves,” he said.

Highways hit

Parts of Crimea’s coastal highway linking the cities of Yevpatoria and Simferopol were closed due to flooding, and ferry services from Crimea’s largest city of Sevastopol were suspended.

About 500 marine animals in Sevastopol’s aquarium were killed during the storm, which flooded one of its floors, the city’s Moscow-installed governor said.

The storm caused widespread flooding
The storm caused widespread flooding © STRINGER / AFP

Transport on the Ukrainian mainland and southern Russia were also affected.

Train traffic on Russia’s Black Sea coast was disrupted after rail tracks fell into the sea, while oil loading at the port of Novorossiysk was suspended.

Kyiv said more than 2,000 towns and villages were left without power due to bad weather on the Ukrainian mainland, which was hit by up to 25 centimetres (10 inches) of snow.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning


“In total, 2,019 settlements in 16 regions are cut off from the grid,” Ukraine‘s interior ministry said.

In the southern city of Odesa, which has been subjected to repeated Russian strikes, authorities said they had helped 1,624 people who had been trapped due to snow.

Regional authorities said the temperature had fallen to below freezing with reports of gusts of up to 72 kilometres (44 miles) per hour.

Ukraine’s energy grid has been targeted systematically by Russian forces since Moscow’s assault began last year, and officials have warned strikes could intensify over winter.


15:59 27 Nov

Watch: Huge waves hit Russian coast in Winter storms

Video content

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.50.8/iframe.htmlVideo caption: Ukraine and Russia hit by snow storms and floodingUkraine and Russia hit by snow storms and flooding

Snow storms and flooding have hit parts of Russia and Ukraine, leaving nearly two million people without power.

Read more about these links.

Posted at 13:55 27 Nov13:55 27 Nov

Two million lose power in Russia and Ukraine storm

A man walks as big waves crash against Sochi's seafront, southern Russia. Photo: 27 November 2023

Hurricane winds and heavy flooding batter southern Russia and Ukrainian regions seized by Moscow.Read more

How Hamas built a force to attack Israel on 7 October

Related Topics

Hamas training exercise in Gaza
Image caption, Joint military drills were held between Palestinian armed factions from 2020 onwards

By Abdelali Ragad, Richard Irvine-Brown, Benedict Garman and Sean Seddon

BBC Arabic and BBC Verify

Five armed Palestinian groups joined Hamas in the deadly 7 October attack on Israel after training together in military-style exercises from 2020 onwards, BBC News analysis shows.

The groups carried out joint drills in Gaza which closely resembled the tactics used during the deadly assault – including at a site less than 1km (0.6 miles) from the barrier with Israel – and posted them on social media.

They practised hostage-taking, raiding compounds and breaching Israel’s defences during these exercises, the last of which was held just 25 days before the attack.

BBC Arabic and BBC Verify have collated evidence which shows how Hamas brought together Gaza’s factions to hone their combat methods – and ultimately execute a raid into Israel which has plunged the region into war.

‘A sign of unity’

On 29 December 2020, Hamas’s overall leader Ismail Haniyeh declared the first of four drills codenamed Strong Pillar a “strong message and a sign of unity” between Gaza’s various armed factions.

As the most powerful of Gaza’s armed groups, Hamas was the dominant force in a coalition which brought together 10 other Palestinian factions in a war games-style exercise overseen by a “joint operation room”.

The structure was set up in 2018 to coordinate Gaza’s armed factions under a central command.

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.50.8/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

WATCH: Videos reveal how armed groups trained together before 7 October attacks

Prior to 2018, Hamas had formally coordinated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Gaza’s second largest armed faction and – like Hamas – a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK and other countries.

Hamas had also fought alongside other groups in previous conflicts, but the 2020 drill was billed in propaganda as evidence a wider array of groups were being unified.

Hamas’s leader said the first drill reflected the “permanent readiness” of the armed factions.

The 2020 exercise was the first of four joint drills held over three years, each of which was documented in polished videos posted on public social media channels.

The BBC has visually identified 10 groups, including PIJ, by their distinctive headbands and emblems training alongside Hamas during the Strong Pillar drills in footage posted on the messaging app Telegram.

Following the 7 October attack, five of the groups went on to post videos claiming to show them taking part in the assault. Three others issued written statements on Telegram claiming to have participated.

The role of these groups has come into sharp focus as pressure builds on Hamas to find dozens of women and children believed to have been taken as captives from Israel into Gaza by other factions on 7 October.

Three groups – PIJ, the Mujahideen Brigades and Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades – claim to have seized Israeli hostages, alongside Hamas, on that day.

Efforts to extend the temporary truce in Gaza were said to be hinging on Hamas locating those hostages.

Images of Palestinian militants during training

While these groups are drawn from a broad ideological spectrum ranging from hard-line Islamist to relatively secular, all shared a willingness to use violence against Israel.

Hamas statements repeatedly stressed the theme of unity between Gaza’s disparate armed groups. The group suggested they were equal partners in the joint drills, whilst it continued to play a leading role in the plans to attack Israel.

Footage from the first drill shows masked commanders in a bunker appearing to conduct the exercise, and begins with a volley of rocket fire.

It cuts to heavily armed fighters overrunning a mocked-up tank marked with an Israeli flag, detaining a crew member and dragging him away as a prisoner, as well as raiding buildings.

We know from videos and harrowing witness statements that both tactics were used to capture soldiers and target civilians on 7 October, when around 1,200 people were killed and an estimated 240 hostages were taken.

Masked men in military uniforms
Image caption, The first Strong Pillar drill propaganda video showed a command room overseeing the joint exercise

Telling the world

The second Strong Pillar drill was held almost exactly one year later.

Ayman Nofal, a commander in the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades – the official name for Hamas’s armed wing – said the aim of the exercise on 26 December 2021 was to “affirm the unity of the resistance factions”.

He said the drills would “tell the enemy that the walls and engineering measures on the borders of Gaza will not protect them”.

Another Hamas statement said the “joint military manoeuvres” were designed to “simulate the liberation of settlements near Gaza” – which is how the group refers to Israeli communities.

The exercise was repeated on 28 December 2022, and propaganda images of fighters practising clearing buildings and overrunning tanks in what appears to be a replica of a military base were published to mark the event.

Images of Hamas capturing tank crew members

The exercises were reported on in Israel, so it’s inconceivable they were not being closely monitored by the country’s extensive intelligence agencies.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have previously carried out air strikes to disrupt Hamas’s training activities. In April 2023, they bombed the site used for the first Strong Pillar drill.

Weeks before the attacks, female surveillance soldiers near the Gaza border reportedly warned of unusually high drone activity and that Hamas was training to take over observation posts with replicas of their positions.

But, according to reports in the Israeli media, they say they were ignored.

Brigadier General Amir Avivi, a former IDF deputy commander in Gaza, told the BBC: “There was a lot of intelligence that they were doing this training – after all, the videos are public, and this was happening just hundreds of metres from the fence (with Israel).”

But he said while the military knew about the drills, they “didn’t see what they were training for”.

The IDF said they “eliminated” Nofal on 17 October 2023, the first senior Hamas military leader to be killed during the conflict.

Images of Hamas taking hostages

Hiding in plain sight

Hamas went to great lengths to make sure the drills were realistic.

In 2022, fighters practised storming a mock Israeli military base built just 2.6km (1.6 miles) from the Erez crossing, a route between Gaza and Israel controlled by the IDF.

BBC Verify has pinpointed the site in the far north of Gaza, just 800m (0.5 miles) from the barrier, by matching geographic features seen in the training footage to aerial images of the area. As of November 2023, the site was still visible on Bing Maps.

The training camp was within 1.6km (1 mile) of an Israeli observation tower and an elevated observation box, elements in a security barrier Israel has spent hundreds of millions of dollars constructing.

Map showing the location of a Hamas training site

The mock base is on land dug several metres below ground level, so it may not have been immediately visible to any nearby Israeli patrols – but the smoke rising from the explosions surely would have been, and the IDF is known to use aerial surveillance.

Hamas used this site to practise storming buildings, taking hostages at gunpoint and destroying security barriers.

BBC Verify has used publicly available information – including satellite imagery – to locate 14 training sites at nine different locations across Gaza.

They even trained twice at a site less than 1.6 km (1 mile) from the United Nations’ aid agency distribution centre, and which was visible in the background of an official video published by the agency in December 2022.

Map showing 14 training sites in Gaza

Land, sea and air

On 10 September 2023, the so-called joint committee room published images on its dedicated Telegram channel of men in military uniforms carrying out surveillance of military installations along the Gaza barrier.

Two days later, the fourth Strong Pillar military exercise was staged, and by 7 October, all the tactics that would be deployed in the unprecedented attack had been rehearsed.

Fighters were filmed riding in the same type of white Toyota pickup trucks which were seen roaming through southern Israel the following month.

The propaganda video shows gunmen raiding mock buildings and firing at dummy targets inside, as well as training to storm a beach using a boat and underwater divers. Israel has said it repelled attempted Hamas boat landings on its shores on 7 October.

Palestinian fighters training
Image caption, The fourth and final Strong Pillar drill saw fighters training on raiding buildings

However, Hamas did not publicise its training with motorcycles and paragliders as part of the Strong Pillar propaganda.

A training video posted by Hamas three days after 7 October shows fences and barriers being demolished to allow motorcycles to pass through, a tactic they used to reach communities in southern Israel. We have not identified similar earlier videos.

Footage of fighters using paragliding equipment was also not published until the 7 October attack was under way.

In a training video shared on the day of the attack, gunmen are seen landing in a mock kibbutz at an airstrip we have located to a site north of Rafah in southern Gaza.

BBC Verify established it was recorded some time before 25 August 2022, and was stored in a computer file titled Eagle Squadron, the name Hamas uses for its aerial division – suggesting the paragliders plan was in the works for over a year.

Images of Hamas using motorcycles

The element of surprise

Before 7 October, Hamas was thought to have about 30,000 fighters in the Gaza Strip, according to reports quoting IDF commanders. It was also thought that Hamas could draw on several thousands of fighters from smaller groups.

Hamas is by far the most powerful of the Palestinian armed groups, even without the support of other factions – suggesting its interest in galvanising the factions was driven by an attempt to secure broad support within Gaza at least as much as bolstering its own numbers.

The IDF has previously estimated 1,500 fighters joined the 7 October raids. The Times of Israel reported earlier this month the IDF now believes the number was closer to 3,000.

Whatever the true number, it means only a relatively small fraction of the total number of armed operatives in Gaza took part. It is not possible to verify precise numbers for how many fighters from smaller groups took part in the attack or the Strong Pillar drills.

While Hamas was building cross-faction support in the build-up to the attack, Hisham Jaber, a former Brigadier General in the Lebanese army who is now a security analyst at the Middle East Centre for Studies and Research, said he believed only Hamas was aware of the ultimate plan, and it was “probable [they] asked other factions to join on the day”.

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.50.8/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Watch: Video purportedly shows captured Israeli tank in Gaza

Andreas Krieg, a senior lecturer in security studies at Kings College London, told the BBC: “While there was centralised planning, execution was de-centralised, with each squad operationalising the plan as they saw fit.”

He said people inside Hamas were said to be surprised by the weakness of Israel’s defences, and assessed militants likely bypassed Israel’s surveillance technology by communicating offline.

Hugh Lovatt, a Middle East analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said Israel would have been aware of the joint training drills but “reached the wrong conclusion”, assessing they amounted to the “standard” activity of paramilitary groups in the Palestinian territories, rather than being “indicative of a looming large-scale attack”.

Asked about the issues raised in this article, the Israel Defense Forces said it was “currently focused on eliminating the threat from the terrorist organisation Hamas” and questions about any potential failures “will be looked into in a later stage”.

It could be several years until Israel formally reckons with whether it missed opportunities to prevent the 7 October massacre.

The ramifications for its military, intelligence services and government could be seismic.

Additional reporting by Paul Brown, Kumar Malhotra and Abdirahim Saeed

BBC Verify logo

What do you want BBC Verify to investigate?

BBC Verify logo

Related Topics

About the Author

Robert Cook
facebook https://www.facebook.com/rj.cook.9081 I went to school in Buckinghamshire, where my interests were music ( I was a violinist ), art ( winning county art competitions ) athletics and cross country ( I was a county team athlete ). My father died as a result of an accident- he was an ex soldier and truck driver- when I was 11. It could be said that I grew up in poverty, but I did not see it like that. As a schoolboy, I had my interests, hobbies and bicycle, worked on a farm, delivered news papers, did a lot of training for my sport, painting, and music. I also made model aeroplanes and was in the Air Training Corps, where we had the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. I had wanted to be a pilot, but university made me anti war. At the University of East Anglia-which I also represented in cross country and athletics- I studied economics, economic history, philosophy and sociology. Over the years, I have worked in a variety of manual, office and driving jobs. My first job after univerity was with the Inland Revenue in Havant, near Portsmouth. I left Hampshire to work for the Nitrate Corporation of Chile, then lecturing, teaching and journalism - then back to driving. I play and teach various styles of guitar and used to be a regular folk club performer. I quit that after being violently assaulted in Milton Keynes pub, after singing a song I wrote about how cop got away with killing Ian Tomlinson at G7, in broad daylight and caught on camera. The police took no action, saying taht my assailant had a good job. The pub in question was, and probably still is, popular with off duty police officers.

Be the first to comment on "Exceptional Powers – Anglo U.S Elite Tyranny VI"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.